Lebanon Businessnews News

LIA Insurance
and Assurex merge
Combined premiums of $129 million in 2020
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LIA Insurance and Assurex have merged into ‘LIA Assurex’, a new entity. The combined gross written premiums of the two companies totaled $129 million in 2020. They jointly have a network of 12 branches across the country, seven contributed by LIA and five by Assurex.

LIA Insurance was fully owned by South Africa-based Sanlam Group which holds 70 percent of the new company. Assurex’s owners are Fattal Group and Saradar Group. They hold the remaining 30 percent through Saradar Insurance Holding. Saradar owned 51 percent of Assurex and Fattal 49 percent.

Labib Nasr, former CEO of Assurex and General Manager of the new company, said that LIA Assurex will benefit from the complementarity between the merged companies. Assurex is owned by Lebanese partners and focuses on motor and medical insurance while LIA is owned by an international group and focuses on life insurance and bancassurance, he said. LIA was the fourth largest company in Lebanon in life insurance. Its gross written life insurance premiums totaled $34 million in 2020. The health insurance premiums of Assurex accounted for 39 percent of its overall gross written premiums in 2020 while its motor insurance premiums represented 35 percent of the total.

*Amounts converted at an exchange rate of LL1,507 to the dollar
Source: Insurance Control Commission

Nasr said that LIA Assurex will tap the knowhow of the Sanlam Group in such fields as auditing, information technology (IT), and creating new products. Sanlam is a large international group with a long experience in the insurance industry, he said. The group is present in 23 African countries and in India. “We have incorporated in our business plan an IT vision to create software tools for our internal operations and for our brokers. The aim is to streamline and speed up processes such as issuing policies,” Nasr said.

Sanlam, as the major shareholder of LIA Assurex, will name the chairman of the new company.

The merger was approved by the Insurance Control Commission last July.
Date Posted: Aug 13, 2021
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