DIFC's reinsurance sector grew 17% in 2019 to $2bn

The rise in gross written premiums applies to a variety of sectors including marine, aviation, transport, health and property damage

DUBAI, UAE. April 16, 2014 - Stock photograph of stock ticker in front of DIFC Gate in Dubai, April 16, 2014. (Photos by: Sarah Dea/The National, Story by: Lianne Gutcher, Business)
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The Dubai International Financial Centre's reinsurance sector grew 17.4 per cent in 2019, as gross written premiums reached $2 billion (Dh7.34bn) representing the highest volume ever in the market.

“Our strong performance in the reinsurance sector in the first quarter of 2020 and throughout 2019 stems from our long-standing commitment to the sector,” Arif Amiri, chief executive of DIFC Authority, said. “While 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.”

In the first quarter of this year, gross written premiums reached $472 million, on par with the same period last year, according to the statement from DIFC on Saturday. The premiums covered a variety of sectors including marine, aviation, transport, health, property damage,  liability and other sectors.

“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.”

DIFC has emerged as the leading reinsurance hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region in the last 16 years. It is now home to more than 100 registered insurance, reinsurance, captive firms and insurance-related entities serving the market, including three of the top five global insurance companies.

The centre has attracted globally renowned entities such as Munich Re, Lloyd’s, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty, RGA, Korean Re, AIG, Zurich, Marsh, and Aon.

The financial free zone 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. In December, DIFC signed agreements with Lloyd’s, a top insurance and reinsurance marketplace as well as UK-headquartered Chartered Insurance Institute, to develop talent within the local insurance and reinsurance industry in line with international best practice.

A total of 10 InsurTech start-ups are also registered at the centre, DIFC said.

Earlier this month, the free zone rolled out a new group health insurance policy to help registered firms offer cost-effective cover for their employees.

The Group Health Insurance Master Policy will be facilitated by EC3 Brokers, a reinsurance firm licensed by Dubai Financial Services Authority, and made available to more than 2,400 registered firms in the free zone who provide health cover to 25,600 employees.