UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: DIFC sees ‘sustained performance’ in reinsurance sector.

As published on captiveinsurancetimes.com, Monday 8 June, 2020.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia markets (MEASA), has revealed the region has seen a sustained performance in its reinsurance sector.

The DIFC outlined that in 2019, the reinsurance sector grew by 17.4 percent, which represents the highest volume of premiums ever written in the market. It explained that this reinforces the “centre’s position as the leading reinsurance hub in the region”.

Additionally, the DIFC confirmed that gross written premiums (GWP) for Q1 2020 reached $472 million, on par with the same period during Q1 2019, which reflects the industry continued “stability and resilience”.

The premiums cover different areas including marine, aviation, transport, health, property damage and liability, alongside other sectors. This growth was characterised by reinsurers, coverholders, managing general agents, and reinsurance brokers prioritising DIFC’s business environment over other global financial centres to gain access to the MEASA region.

There are now more than 100 registered insurance, reinsurance, captive firms and insurance-related entities serving the market, including three of the top five global insurance companies. At the end of 2019, Dubai had a total of two captives.

The centre has welcomed companies including Munich Re, Lloyd’s, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty, RGA, Korean Re, AIG, Zurich, Marsh, and Aon.

As part of DIFC’s vision to shape the future of finance, insurtech is transforming the industry through developments through digitalisation, innovation and collaboration. Insurtech pioneers now represent a total of 10 insurance-related institutions registered at the centre.

Start-ups are able to collaborate with insurance and reinsurance leaders to deliver solutions that address the growing requirements for the future insurance industry including AIG, AXA Gulf, Cigna Insurance Middle East, Insurance House, MetLife, Noor Takaful (Ethical Insurance) and Zurich Insurance Company.

DIFC said it plans to attract further reinsurers from Europe and Asia to increase the centre’s capacity, and provide an international platform to regional players for their global benchmarking growth plans. Memorandum of understanding’s (MoUs) has been signed with Lloyd’s, as well as UK-headquartered Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) to develop talent within the local insurance and reinsurance landscape in line with international best practice.

Commenting on the performance, Arif Amiri, CEO, DIFC Authority, said: Our strong performance in [the] reinsurance sector in Q1 2020 and throughout 2019 stems from our long-standing commitment to the sector. Whilst providing the most proven legal and regulatory frameworks for insurance and reinsurance leaders in the region, our approach also allows insurtech start-ups to collaborate with top reinsurance leaders in DIFC to address tomorrow’s requirements.”

“As part of our focus on shaping the future of finance, we are embracing digitalisation, collaboration and talent which can deliver large-scale changes in the sector and create the next generation of financial services professionals. This is especially important as the insurance sector continues to evolve which requires us to be in a position to meet the industry’s evolving requirements, underlining our commitment to leading reinsurance sector growth in the region,” he added.

Captive owners will be in a st…