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November 26, 2015 | 14:30 | Dubai
Global insurer Zurich will begin a phased closing to new retail and small business customers in its general insurance business in the Middle East from November 30 this year. “Subject to an assessment of contractual obligations, existing portfolios in this business will be put into run off. This means that Zurich will effectively exit its general insurance businesses by the end of 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter. The decision only affects the general insurance business in the Middle East while Zurich remains firmly committed to its life insurance business,” a statement said.
Zurich’s global corporate business will continue to underwrite new policies under the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) reinsurance license and will stop underwriting new policies under the onshore license through branches in UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Lebanon. “This has been a difficult decision for Zurich, reflecting the challenges of building a strong and profitable franchise across multiple markets in the region in the current economic environment,” said Brian Reilly, CEO of Zurich’s general insurance business in the Middle East.