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The insurance industry plays a vital role in supporting the Egyptian economy and growing national investments. It provides financial protection for individuals and projects against different risks. Further, it is a main channel for collecting and using national savings in financing national investments and development plans, making available new job opportunities and alleviating the impacts of inflation. Optional private pension funds provide complementary pension for subscribers. Within this framework, the insurance industry needs to invest its resources in medium- and long-term fields that go well with the nature of its obligations, thus creating demand for medium- and long-term finance. The Egyptian insurance market is subject to supervision and regulation per Law No. 10 of 1981 and its amendments, the last of which was Law No. 118 of 2008. In 2010, insurance premiums were L.E8.8 billion Subscriptions to private insurance funds were L.E 3.3 billion. Total investments of insurance companies and private insurance funds totaled L.E 58.2 billion. Effective July 1st, 2009, the EFSA has, in accordance with law No. 10 of 2009 regarding organization of regulation of markets and non-banking financial instruments, replaced the Egyptian Insurance Supervisory Authority (EJSA) in terms of enforcement of provisions of the law on supervision and regulation of insurance promulgated by Law No. 10 of 1981.

Development of the insurance market in Egypt

  • The insurance industry started in the second half of the 19th Century through acting as agents for British and French companies
  • In 1900, the National Insurance Company was established as the first Egyptian company ; in 1933, Al-Sharq Company was formed; and in 1934, Misr for General Insurance
  • Foreign insurance companies began to set base in the market by establishing branches and agencies which totaled more than 130.
  • In the wake of the nationalization movement under Law No. 23 of 1957, insurance companies working in Egypt were nationalized. From that time until 1961, there were 14 Egyptian companies for insurance and re-insurance.
  • Based on insurance decrees of the year 1961 and merger decrees of the year 1964, the number of insurance companies in Egypt became four companies fully owned by the State: three companies for direct insurance and one for re-insurance.
  • As a result of the dramatic change in the Egyptian economic policy after the 1973 war, Law No. 43 of 1975 was issued. It caused a huge shift in the insurance industry in Egypt by allowing inflow of foreign capital to establish insurance companies in the free zones.
  • By the end of the Seventies of the Twentieth Century, private sector participation began in the insurance market. The Suez Canal Company for Insurance was established in 1979, Al-Mohandes, 1980, and Delta for Insurance, 1981. With the continuation of the economic development process, private insurance companies working in the market in the Nineties were nine: four of them were public sector, three, private sector, and two, in the free zones.
  • In the mid of the Nineties, and in accordance with requirements of economic reform policies and market liberalization, Law No. 10 of 1981 was amended to allow 49% of foreign participation, which increased the number of insurance companies to twelve: 4 public sector, 6 private and two free zone. Then, it was amended per Law No. 156 of 1998 to allow 100% foreign participation. The number of companies working in Egypt became seventeen: 4 public sector companies and 13 foreign capital companies.
  • Finally, Law No.118/2008 that enforced Insurance Companies that merge between both insurance activities , life and non-life insurance; to detach them within 2 years from the date of issuing the law and this period can be extended but according to the EFSA`s approval, was issued , consequently, the No. of Public Enterprise Companies happened to be 2 , one for life insurance and the other is for non- life insurance, meanwhile the no. of the other insurance companies registered in the EFSA turned to be 28 , so that the total no of companies is to be 30 companies ( some are with Egyptian Capital, some are with Foreign and some with Common Capital ).