Dubai International Financial Centre, the financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has revealed that the sector is on track for 20 per cent annual growth; having granted several licences to insurance and reinsurance companies in recent months.
The news comes as the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) looks to further improve the city’s position as a global hub for the insurance and reinsurance industry.
DIFC recently welcomed a number of organisations including Hensley Wynne Furlonge Partners (Middle East) Ltd, Swan Insurance Management Agency Ltd, Waica Reinsurance (DIFC) Ltd and YOA Risk Services Ltd. They join preeminent industry names including AIG, Zurich, Aon and Willis to access the largest untapped market in the world through DIFC.
The new joiners cover a broad range of insurance and reinsurance lines that will enable them to grow across the region. These lines include transactional risk insurance within the M&A process, medical, personal accident, travel, property, engineering, liability and marine.
Additionally, supporting the Centre’s vision to drive the future of finance, Virtual I Technologies Ltd, an insurtech company from the DIFC Innovation Hub, has become the first insurtech to upgrade and obtain a regulatory licence from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
Virtual I Technologies Ltd has created an AI-based risk assessment tool and has moved to a new phase of growth – to become a capacity distributor based on a digital gateway platform between capacity providers, global agents, local agents, and retail brokers.
DIFC also revealed that, over the past five years, it has seen an influx of insurance and reinsurance players with a 43 per cent representation of Managing General Agents (MGAs) from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East contributing to the $2.1billion market.
“The Centre’s vision of driving the future of finance”
As a market creator, DIFC has built a globally recognised regulatory environment with strategic, financial, and operational benefits associated with geographical expansion for reinsurers, brokers, independent MGAs, and Lloyd’s service companies and coverholders. In addition, buoyant oil prices, increased infrastructure spending and low insurance penetration in the region have worked positively for the reinsurance market within DIFC.
Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, commented: “DIFC has been delighted to welcome an impressive stream of new insurance and reinsurance companies during the first nine months of 2023, on track for 20 per cent annual growth.
“Today, we are home to more than 100 registered insurers, reinsurers, captives and insurance-related entities who are using our platform to achieve their growth ambitions.
“Our world-class laws and regulations are comparable to other advanced markets across the globe and enable our insurers and reinsurers to confidently operate in the jurisdiction, tap into new growth opportunities in the region, and collectively contribute to the Centre’s vision of driving the future of finance.”
Over the last 20 years, DIFC has driven the development of the insurance and reinsurance industry. This includes co-hosting the Dubai World Insurance Congress, which has rapidly become an important forum to address key issues and opportunities for the sector. The 2023 event saw more than 1,100 industry professionals, representing 60 countries across the world gather to discuss supporting economic growth, attracting talent to the insurance industry, embracing technology, and supporting climate change and decarbonisation initiatives.
It was encouraging that an independent survey conducted during the Congress identified 87 per cent of respondents are confident in the MEASA market and the strategic opportunities it holds.
The survey further highlighted that property, health, energy, cyber and liability lines of business hold the most potential for the MEASA region. Reflecting the growing sophistication of insurance markets and increasing demand for insurance/reinsurance, the survey showed that 85 per cent of respondents are confident in 2023 renewals and the possibility of retaining clients.