London Market develops Shariah compliant insurance products

Dave Matcham delivering his speech at the Dubai International Financial Centre

Islamic financial activity in London is developing a growing maturity, the chief executive of the International Underwriting Association (IUA), has stated. Dave Matcham pointed to the growth of commercial sharia compliant products as an important example of the innovation required by the London Market to maintain its position as a global insurance hub.

His message was delivered in a speech at the inaugural conference of the Islamic Insurance Association of London (IIAL) in Dubai. Delegates heard how the IUA and IIAL are cooperating to support the trade in Islamic insurance, promoting standards and transparency.

“Until recently the supply of sharia compliant commercial insurance products was a missing piece of the financial jigsaw,” said Mr Matcham. “The puzzle is now complete, these types of risks are now being written and we are looking to build on this in yet another example of how the London Market evolves and innovates its product offering.”

Elsewhere the speech described the work of the London Market Group in encouraging more international insurance business to be placed in London. Mr Matcham outlined how the market’s is working together to improve client experience, increase marketing to overseas buyers and overhaul processing systems.

“London is a centre of excellence with a high concentration of intellectual capital fostered by the close co-location of insurers, brokers and support services,” he said. “This cluster effect has always made it the fulcrum of insurance invention.

“London is the place where new customer demands get discussed, where the appetite for new risks is honed and where solutions for them are developed and nurtured.”

The Islamic Insurance Association of London was launched in April this year to represent insurers and reinsurers providing Shariah-compliant cover. It is chaired by former Lloyd’s chairman Max Taylor. The IIAL’s first international conference was held on November 8 2015 at the Dubai International Finance Centre’s conference venue.