|By Arabian Post Staff| Zurich announced that it will begin a phased closing to new retail and small business customers in its general insurance business in the Middle East.
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, the company 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.
The decision follows a comprehensive review of the general insurance business in line with the Group’s strategy to focus on its core business by prioritizing investment in markets where it sees the best potential for growth, managing other markets for value, and turning around or exiting underperforming markets.
The review found that while the Middle East remains an attractive market, there was limited potential for the general insurance business of Zurich to profitably grow its business in the region and achieve an operating scale that warranted the continuing investment of capital and management resources.
These changes mean that a number of jobs will change or cease to exist, though it is unclear at this stage how many roles will be affected.