Oman Insurance Company posted an 11% growth in premiums in 2016, continuing on a path of growth in the face of various challenges. How have the company’s core underwriting strategies contributed to this growth?

Christos Adamantiadis: There are a number of things that we have been doing in the area of underwriting. One prime example and I think we are leading the market in that respect, at least in this part of the world is investing in data, in data analytics, in data scientists and tools that allow us to slice and dice our data in such a way as to take more informed underwriting decisions. So, moving away from the gut feeling underwriting to a more technical, factual, facts based underwriting.

How does innovation play a role is mitigating risk in the insurance industry?

Christos Adamantiadis: Insurance is about taking calculated risks. It's about taking risks based on facts and not just from gut feeling or sentiment, but it's also about prevention. So, one example and I think it's probably the prime example in the industry right now, we have tried to move the boundaries of medical insurance from pure risk transfer, from pure protection, to the area of prevention.

So, we have very recently launched our leading-edge wellness proposition, LiveFit, which intends to change the paradigm in the medical industry and shift the focus from pure protection to really working with our clients to prevent diseases.

It includes a number of things like screening, providing incentives for the insured members to lead a healthier and more dynamic lifestyle. We provide subscriptions to gyms, or we subsidize subscriptions to gyms to healthcare institutions and so on.

Oman Insurance Company is considered to be a market leader in innovation. How would you define the company's position on innovation?

Christos Adamantiadis: Innovation comes in different forms. Innovation in terms of how we transact with our customers. Innovation in terms of how we underwrite and innovation in terms of how we service our customers. So, across all three areas or three streams, we have been investing new tools in terms of servicing for example.

We have launched a leading OI Care Portal whereby insured can transact online, submit claims and so on and so forth. In terms of transacting online, buying online, and selling online insurance, again we have new portals for individual insurance products. And finally, in terms of underwriting, we have made major investments in the area of science, data science, analytics, and pricing.

In what ways is customer centricity applied at Oman Insurance and how does a customer focus build a stronger insurance company?

Christos Adamantiadis: Leading through service is one of our four key strategic pillars. So, there is a lot of work that has gone into strengthening our service proposition end to end, across the board. We have designed customer journeys. We measure our efficacy in meeting our KPIs in terms of turnaround times and service standards.

We listen to our customers. We survey every single customer we have when they have an accident or they have a claim. We get insights and we improve our processes on the back of these insights. We have provided a lot of self-service functionality, digital and mobile functionality, to our customers and we are launching new portals through which our customers can transact with us if they so wish.