UAE’s reinsurance sector witnessed a growth of 17.4% in 2019; DIFC

DIFC has become the premier reinsurance hub in the MEASA region over the last 16 years

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
  • Follow author on
Representational Image

Dubai International Financial Centre, DIFC has reported a sustained performance in the reinsurance sector.

A recent statement from DIFC affirmed that “The (reinsurance) sector grew by 17.4 percent in 2019, representing the highest volume of premiums ever written in the market, further reinforcing the Centre’s position as the leading reinsurance hub in the region.”

The DIFC additionally validated that Gross Written Premiums, GWP, for Q1 2020 touched US$472 million which was on par with the numbers in the same period during Q1 2019, revealing continued industry stability and resilience.

The premiums cover various divisions such as marine, aviation, transport, health, property damage and liability, alongside other sectors. This growth was defined by reinsurers, cover holders, managing general agents, and reinsurance brokers prioritizing DIFC’s world-class enabling and dynamic business environment over other global financial centers to obtain entry to the MEASA region.

Over the last 16 years, DIFC has risen as the principal reinsurance hub in the MEASA region. It now houses more than 100 registered insurance, reinsurance, captive firms and insurance-related organizations assisting the market, including three of the top five global insurance companies. The Centre has lured world-renowned global companies including Munich Re, Lloyd’s, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty, RGA, Korean Re, AIG, Zurich, Marsh, and AON.

The recent rise of InsurTech pioneers now represents a total of ten insurance-related institutions registered at the Centre. As part of DIFC’s concept to shape the future of finance, InsurTech is changing the industry through developments through digitalization, innovation and collaboration. Start-ups are now capable to work with insurance and reinsurance leaders to produce solutions that meet the growing demands for the future insurance industry including AIG, AXA Gulf, Cigna Insurance Middle East S.A.L., Insurance House, MetLife, Noor Takaful, and Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.

Arif Amiri
CEO – DIFC Authority

“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 digitalization, 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.”

DIFC intends to draw further reinsurers from Europe and Asia to expand the Centre’s capacity, and offer an international platform to regional players for their global benchmarking growth plans. Memorandum of Understandings has been endorsed with Lloyd’s, the world’s leading insurance and reinsurance marketplace, as well as UK-headquartered Chartered Insurance Institute to improve talent within the local insurance and reinsurance landscape in line with international best practice.