Construction boom spurs insurance industry
Manama, June 19, 2008
With the construction industry across the region booming so is the associated insurance industry that underwrites risk for the construction and engineering for projects.
And Bahrain is positioning itself as the leading centre for this type of insurance.
At the turn of the year RSA, the leading player in this market with about five to 10 per cent of the business across the GCC, opened its new regional headquarters in Bahrain.
RSA's Middle East construction and engineering team here is now headed by Andy Smith, who joined the company six months ago from a post in Hong Kong.
'We already had an office in Dubai but we chose Bahrain for the regional headquarters for this business because it is easy for access to the major markets of Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as the fast growing construction sector in Bahrain itself,' he said.
'This sector of insurance is attracting a lot of companies into the Middle East with insurers looking at the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain as potential headquarters. We operate as far north as Turkey, though not in Turkey, and we cover Asia and Bahrain was the ideal spot for our headquarters.'
Construction projects across the region are currently valued at around $2 trillion he said, with only 25 per cent of them already started, so the potential for growth in insurance on these developments is immense, he said.
'We are already the biggest players in the market here but I would expect to see us double the amount of business we do this year.
'Abu Dhabi alone is looking at projects costing $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years, Qatar is pushing ahead with a lot of new developments and a lot is still happening in Dubai.'
He said that while Saudi Arabia was also committed to massive projects it was facing some problems because of inflation which was seeing development costs almost double because of the cost of materials and labour.
RSA has fine-tuned its construction and engineering proposition based on extensive market research through the launch of flagship products including Construction All Risks, Erection All Risks, Delay-in-Start-Up, Machinery Breakdown (MB).
The proposition is designed to uniquely respond to each of the identified needs of customers and partners as a leading insurer.-TradeArabia News Service