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Insurance Developments in Saudi Arabia

Published on : 18 Mar 2024

Insurance Developments in KSA

In 2023, the Saudi Arabian insurance sector underwent significant transformations driven by regulatory reforms, technological advancements, and strategic initiatives aimed at fostering growth, stability, and competitiveness. These developments underscore the Kingdom's commitment to modernizing its insurance industry and aligning it with international standards while supporting broader economic diversification goals outlined in Vision 2030.

Establishment of the Insurance Authority (IA)

A pivotal moment in the sector was the establishment of the Insurance Authority (IA) in August 2023, marking a shift from the previous regulatory oversight by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA). The IA, an independent regulator, assumed responsibility for regulating and supervising the insurance sector, aiming to enhance effectiveness, stability, and consumer protection. This move signified a proactive approach towards strengthening regulatory supervision and fostering a conducive environment for industry growth.

Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

Another noteworthy development was the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) 17 Insurance Contracts and IFRS 9 Financial Instruments by the Saudi insurance sector. This alignment with international accounting standards, effective from January 2023, aimed to improve transparency, comparability, and accuracy in financial reporting, thereby enhancing investor confidence and facilitating global market integration.

Gradual Reinsurance Cession

The implementation of a mechanism for gradual reinsurance cession to the local reinsurance market, mandated by SAMA, aimed to bolster the domestic reinsurance sector and enhance retention capacity. This phased approach, commencing in January 2023, demonstrated a strategic initiative to strengthen the local market while ensuring adequate risk management practices among insurance companies.

Regulatory Amendments and Initiatives

Throughout 2023, several regulatory amendments and initiatives were introduced to modernize the insurance landscape and address evolving market dynamics:

  • Amendments to Compulsory Motor Insurance Policy: Revisions to the Unified Compulsory Motor Insurance Policy aimed to streamline claim settlement procedures, enhance consumer protection, and accommodate industry developments.
  • Licensing of Foreign-Owned Health Insurance Branch: The licensing of the first foreign-owned health insurance branch, Cigna Worldwide Insurance Company, underscored efforts to attract foreign investment and enhance sector competitiveness.
  • InsurTech Rules: The approval of InsurTech Rules by SAMA in July 2023 aimed to regulate insurance technology activities, fostering innovation while safeguarding consumer rights and compliance with regulations.
  • Licensing of Insurance Aggregators: The licensing of insurance aggregation companies aimed to promote competition and provide consumers with a wider range of insurance products and services.
  • Marine Insurance Coverage Instructions: Issuance of Marine Insurance Coverage Instructions aimed to enhance the regulatory framework for marine insurance, ensuring adequate coverage and benefits while addressing industry requirements.
  • Licensing of Online Reinsurance Brokerage: The licensing of ReTech Reinsurance Brokers Co. to provide online reinsurance brokerage services reflected support for technological advancements and innovative financial solutions in the insurance sector.
  • Amendments to Comprehensive Motor Insurance Rules: Revisions to Comprehensive Motor Insurance Rules aimed to expand coverage and protect the rights of beneficiaries, catering to diverse consumer needs.
  • Merger between Insurance Companies: The merger between Alinma Tokio Marine Company and Arabian Shield Cooperative Insurance Company highlighted a trend towards consolidation in the sector, aiming to create stronger entities capable of meeting market expectations.
  • Localization of Insurance Sales Jobs: The decision to localize all sales positions in insurance products aimed to empower national competencies and contribute to Saudization efforts, aligning with broader national strategies for economic development and employment.


The year 2023 witnessed a series of transformative developments in the Saudi Arabian insurance sector, driven by regulatory reforms, technological advancements, and strategic initiatives aimed at fostering growth, stability, and competitiveness. From the establishment of the Insurance Authority to the adoption of international accounting standards and the introduction of regulatory amendments and initiatives, the sector demonstrated resilience and adaptability in navigating evolving market dynamics. As the Kingdom continues its journey towards economic diversification and modernization under Vision 2030, the insurance sector remains poised for further innovation and growth, supported by a robust regulatory framework and a commitment to excellence.