By end of 2015, Bahrain’s domestic insurance market comprised of 25 Locally Incorporated Firms and 11 Overseas Insurance Firms (branches of foreign companies) carrying out Insurance, Reinsurance, Takaful, Retakaful and Captives business in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The locally incorporated firms consisted of 14 Conventional Insurance Firms, 6 Takaful Firms, 2 Reinsurance Firms, 2 Retakaful Firms and 1 Captive, while Overseas Insurance Firms consists of 8 Conventional Insurance Firms and 3 Reinsurance Firms. In addition, there are a substantial number of firms restricted to carry out business outside Bahrain.
The insurance industry is well served by a number of ancillary service providers such as Brokers (31), Actuaries (27), Insurance Consultants (4), Loss Adjusters (11), Insurance Managers (5), Insurance Ancillary Services (6), Representative Office (4) and Insurance Appointed Representative.
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.
As part of the efforts towards continual enhancement and improvement of the regulatory framework, the CBB introduced its revised and enhanced Operational and Solvency framework for Takaful and Retakaful industry in 2014 after undergoing extensive deliberations and consultations with the industry and all the stakeholders. The Takaful rules have been revised to facilitate faster growth of Takaful business in Bahrain while protecting the interest of all stakeholders, vis-à-vis participants, shareholders and the Takaful operator.
One of the major accomplishments of the CBB’s insurance regulatory regime and Bahrain Insurance Association (BIA) has been the introduction of the “Motor Compensation Fund”. The objectives of the fund are to compensate mainly the victims of motor accidents, in respect of death, bodily injury, emotional damages excluding any property damages, as a result of hit-and-run and uninsured vehicles cases and to emphasize about the social responsibility of insurance firms towards the general public.
The CBB also publishes an annual report on the developments in the Insurance industry.