Bahrain's insurance industry consists of conventional and Islamic (takaful) companies. The conventional insurance firms sector consists of 15 locally-incorporated firms (including 2 pure reinsurers), 11 foreign branches (including 3 pure reinsurers) and 6 representative offices of foreign insurance companies. The takaful segment has 9 companies including 2 retakaful firms. In addition, there are a substantial number of firms with licenses limiting their business to outside Bahrain, including 38 conventional firms and 9 takaful companies. These companies serve other regional markets in the Gulf, capitalizing on Bahrain's leadership role as a regional financial centre.
The insurance industry is well served by a number of ancillary service providers such as brokers (38), actuaries (23), insurance consultants and loss adjusters.
The industry has been growing steadily in recent years, mirroring the growth of Bahrain's financial sector - the increased access to financial services and products has led to demand for insurance services. A notable development in recent years has been international insurers developing their regional operations, many of whom have chosen Bahrain as their regional base.
Industry growth has also been fostered by the presence of a robust framework for regulation and supervision of insurance. The Central Bank of Bahrain's predecessor organisation, the Bahrain Monetary Agency, undertook a major project during 2003-04 to develop a comprehensive insurance rulebook, in line with IAIS core principles, following the BMA's assumption of responsibility for regulating and supervising the insurance sector. This rulebook was launched in April 2005, and put in place the most comprehensive regulatory framework in the region for insurance activities.
The CBB also publishes an annual report on the developments in the Insurance industry (see related information).