Bahrain’s gross premiums up 21% to BD135m

The insurance sector in Bahrain posted strongest annual growth in 2007 with gross premiums surging 21 per cent to BD135.6 million (Dh1,321m) against BD112.4m in 2006, the Central Bank of Bahrain said (CBB). Life insurance contributed the lion’s share of growth, soaring by nearly 67 per cent, with medical and the traditionally strong motor business also growing by 39 per cent and 16 per cent respectively. Life premiums amounted to BD38.8m, an increase of 67 per cent over the 2006 figure of BD23m. The life market accounted for 29 per cent of the premiums generated during 2007. The profitability of insurance firms rose by 56 per cent, while their total assets grew by 42 per cent. The number of insurance firms operating in Bahrain market during 2007 totalled 163, of whom 22 were locally-incorporated firms, 11 were branches of foreign firms and the others insurance ancillary services and organisations. The country hosts insurance major such as Hannover Re, Allianz, Axa and ACE Group, which will help expand and advance the industry further.