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British and Bahraini based independent corporate insurance brokers and risk advisers, Bridge Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers W.L.L. (Bridge), has just announced the launch of its operation in the Kingdom of Bahrain, having obtained approval from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). The company, which currently provides insurance brokerage and consultancy services, is in the process of launching Bahrain’s first online insurance comparison portal.

The first InsurTech launch of its kind in Bahrain, the new insurance comparison portal adds further momentum to the Kingdom’s fast-growing status as a regional FinTech hub – Bahrain FinTech Bay.

Mahmood AlSoofi, Chairman of Bridge, said, “It is estimated that in the United Kingdom, around 80% of insurance is sold online, in our view the region with its young population and strong fundamentals for e-commerce will quickly move towards matching this. We believe that the comparison portal, which makes the process of obtaining and comparing unbiased insurance quotes quicker and more convenient, will also play a major role in driving acceptance of the internet as a sales channel in the Kingdom”.

Bridge Executive Director and CEO, Salah AlMaraj, added, “We have been fortunate to receive strong demand within our retail operations given the network we have each accumulated after serving 20+ years in the industry”. With the portal, I believe we have a clear opportunity to provide an exciting new solution that can benefit all stakeholders and marks a new approach to buying insurance”.

Mr. David Parker, Executive Director – Business Development – Financial Services, at the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) said, “As the region’s longest established financial services center, with a strong ICT infrastructure, skilled local workforce, and robust supportive ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship, Bahrain is well placed to provide a testing ground for companies like Bridge. We are pleased that we have supported Bridge to set up operations in the Kingdom and we look forward to seeing them succeed and expand across the region from their base here in Bahrain.”

The portal is expected to go live in the third quarter of 2018 and will help customers make informed insurance decisions. The portal supports the comparison of product prices and coverage in line with their specified search criteria at the click of a button.