Insurer reacts to increasing demand for shariah-compliant solutions in a growing marketplace

XL Group has extended its support for specialist shariah-compliant managing general agency, Cobalt Underwriting, with cover for financial lines products spanning financial institutions, professional indemnity and management liability.

With a year’s experience in providing shariah-compliant cover for property and construction risks through Cobalt, the insurer has identified a key market for growth, according to XL head of international financial lines Louise Dennerståhl (pictured).

She said: “We saw real synergies and opportunities to innovate here. For example, financial institutions often have property assets or are investing in property and we have the appetite and capacity to provide these clients with a market-leading range of products covering their professional liabilities. 

“Additionally, we anticipate strong interest from design professionals tendering and working on many of the huge infrastructure projects under way in the Middle East. For these companies, buying insurance in this manner could be a real differentiator in what is a highly competitive marketplace.”

Cobalt Underwriting chief executive Richard Bishop said: “Financial institutions are so important to the prosperity and operation of the Islamic finance sector, which continues to grow in size and sophistication.

“The potential market is significant. The projected value of the global Islamic finance services industry is expected to be $4trn (€2.92trn) by 2020, with the total value of Islamic assets expected to grow from an estimated value of $1.8trn (€1.32trn) in 2013 to in excess of $6.5trn (€4.75trn) by that time.

“The growth of Islamic finance has continued to be at a rate well above the global average and there is a clear appetite from Islamic companies to play a bigger role in the global economy. Our offering should have particular relevance to Islamic financial institutions that, until now, have had little choice but to purchase conventional insurance solutions if they required the quality security offered by an insurer such as XL. They now can get that same security, but in a form that satisfies their shariah principles.”