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  • December 2023
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6 Considerations for Unlocking the Power of Group Life Insurance in the Middle East

Six office workers in the Middle East wroking around a table
In Brief

This article explores six considerations fundamental to the growth of group life insurance tailored for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Middle East and, in doing so, provides valuable takeaways for insurers in markets around the world.

The following article explores six considerations fundamental to the growth of group life insurance tailored for SMEs in the Middle East, outlining the many benefits and the challenges that may arise and charting a course towards harnessing its full potential. The analysis provides valuable takeaways for insurers in markets around the world. 

1. Using group life insurance as a workforce security shield

Group life insurance is more than just another employee benefit; it serves as a robust security shield that SMEs can wield to both attract and retain top-tier talent. Beyond the financial aspect, it provides employees and their families with an essential assurance – that they will have a reliable financial support system in times of greatest need.

In today's fiercely competitive job market, the ability to attract and retain skilled employees remains an ongoing challenge for SMEs. Group life insurance can serve as a compelling incentive, offering financial protection to employees and their families in the unfortunate event of an employee's passing. Yet, its significance goes beyond finances, as it engenders a sense of feeling valued for employees, which fosters loyalty and commitment. Insurers need to promote these additional benefits as part of their full value proposition. 

2. Choosing the right insurance partner

The Middle East presents a diverse array of insurance providers for SMEs to consider. Whether opting for a local insurance firm deeply rooted in the region or an international insurance behemoth with a global footprint, the choices are abundant. However, selecting the right insurance partner is a pivotal decision that requires careful consideration.

Local insurers often boast a deep understanding of regional intricacies and regulations, offering a valuable advantage. Conversely, international insurers may bring a broader spectrum of products and services to the table. SMEs must meticulously weigh these factors, taking into account the provider's reputation, financial stability, and track record in serving SMEs. For their part, insurers need to highlight the advantages of their specific business model and demonstrate how it can serve particular SMEs.

3. Tailoring plans for each SME’s needs

The one-size-fits-all approach seldom proves effective, even in the realm of insurance plans. SMEs now possess the ability to customize their group life insurance, aligning it with their unique requirements and budget constraints. 

Customization is a game-changer in the world of group life insurance for SMEs, and insurance providers must be sure to offer the flexibility to tailor plans to the specific needs of each SME. This flexibility allows businesses to select coverage amounts, riders, and additional benefits that align precisely with their workforce and financial capabilities.

For instance, a booming tech startup with a youthful, predominantly single workforce might prioritize basic life coverage. In contrast, a well-established construction company with a diverse employee base might opt for a more comprehensive package, including accident and disability benefits. The capacity to customize empowers SMEs to optimize their insurance investments, ensuring that they address precisely what is needed and strengthening the insurer-SME relationship.

Group Life markets are being reshaped by demographic change, medical advances, and digital disruption. Where others see challenges, RGA sees opportunity.

4. Navigating the regulatory maze

The regulatory landscape in the Middle East can be complex, with insurance regulations varying from country to country. Ensuring that a group life insurance plan complies with local laws is vital to avert potential legal complications in the future.
Each Middle Eastern country boasts its own set of regulations governing insurance, and these regulations may evolve over time. Reputable insurance providers with professionals well-versed in local requirements play a pivotal role in an SME’s regulatory compliance journey. They can guide SMEs in establishing group life insurance plans that are fully compliant and legally sound.

5. Optimizing the claims process

Ensuring that employees and their beneficiaries comprehend the claims process is pivotal. The insurance plan should provide insights into how to make the process hassle-free and readily accessible during times of need.

The claims process serves as a critical component of group life insurance. It is the mechanism through which beneficiaries receive the benefits they are entitled to in the event of an employee's death. 

To ensure a smooth claims process employees and beneficiaries should be well-informed about how it works, including how to initiate a claim and the required documentation. A compassionate and efficient claims processing team can make a substantial difference in supporting beneficiaries during a challenging period.

6. Staying competitive through periodic review and renewal

Insurance plans should not remain static entities. SMEs must regularly review their group life insurance plans to ensure that they remain competitive and aligned with the evolving needs of their workforce. This may involve policy renewals with updated terms or seeking competitive quotations from different insurers to ensure optimal value.

The periodic review of insurance plans also offers an opportunity to assess whether the coverage levels remain adequate. As SMEs grow and evolve, their insurance requirements may change, necessitating adjustments to the plan to ensure that it remains relevant and valuable. Insurers should engage SMEs in this process early, providing guidance on how changes to the plan can best serve SMEs’ needs. 

Conclusion: Empowering SMEs for a brighter future

Group life insurance represents more than just a financial tool; it stands as a testament to an SME's commitment to the wellbeing of its employees. By embracing it, SMEs not only protect their workforce but also bolster their resilience. Life insurers have a unique opportunity to partner with SMEs on this transformative journey. Together, they can bring the many benefits of life insurance to more people, fostering financial security and peace of mind among the dedicated workers of SMEs in the Middle East.

Meet the Authors & Experts

Headshot of Amr Afifi
Amr Afifi
Director, Business Development, RGA Middle East