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IGI Plots Growth in Europe Ahead of Imminent Launch of Malta Office

International General Insurance (IGI) is confident that its new business in Malta will be unveiled soon, as employees on the ground complete preparatory work with the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Waleed Jabsheh, IGI’s president, admitted Europe has traditionally not been a big focus for the carrier, but said the new operation, which it is launching in response to Brexit, will help it grow its business in the region. 

IGI has already hired a handful of people on the ground in Malta, Jabsheh said, who are currently working with the regulator ahead of the official launch of the operation. “Europe is not a new market for us but the volume of business we do there is low so there is significant growth potential,” he said. 

Jabsheh compared the potential for growth in Europe to that of the US, where IGI launched operations in April 2020. Both markets are dominated by large domestic carriers, he noted, making it traditionally challenging to break into. The current market conditions have now created opportunities, he explained. 

IGI currently offers around 20 different lines of coverage globally, most of which could potentially be offered in Europe, Jabsheh said. The Malta operation will share its balance sheet with IGI’s other offices, serving as one node in the broader network of offices that work together to drive growth. 

He pointed to strong rating momentum in the first quarter, especially in its long tail segment, which saw rate increases of around 33 percent. Short tail lines also saw rate increases of around 9 percent, he said, while expressing confidence that the hardening environment will continue at least for the rest of 2021.

“There is a lot of dislocation in a lot of lines,” said Jabsheh. “I have been telling our teams that we have been waiting for this market for a long time, we thrive in these kinds of markets. These conditions certainly won’t last forever, and once the market turns it could be a long time before we see these conditions return.”

Jabsheh confirmed IGI has seen the most growth in the lines that have suffered the most dislocation, including downstream energy and directors’ and officers’.

International General Insurance, Waleed Jabsheh, Malta Financial Services Authority