Last month, the international insurer completed the sale of its Middle East general insurance entity, known as Zurich Insurance Middle East, to Cigna – prompting reports Zurich was pulling out of the region.
The sale followed Zurich’s decision to close its general insurance business in the Middle East to new retail and small business customers announced in November 2015.
However, in a statement published on Wednesday, the company said its life unit, Zurich – Middle East, is still committed to providing life insurance across the region.
“Following Cigna’s announcement yesterday about its acquisition of Zurich’s Middle East general insurance entity for retail and small business customers, I would like to share the following statement from Zurich – Middle East, which clarifies the reports that have so far been published.
“Zurich will continue to focus on life insurance and commercial insurance business in the region. The Middle East remains one of the key markets for Zurich,” read the statement.
For now, Cigna’s newly acquired entity will be known as “Zurich Insurance Middle East, a Cigna-owned company”, before the deal is finalised.
Zurich said all existing customers will continue to be serviced via the third-party administrator Cunningham Lindsey.
Meanwhile, Cigna said the deal is the start of its expansion across the Middle East.
Cigna said it will operate in the UAE, Lebanon, Kuwait and Oman, “further complementing its capabilities across the region”.
In May, Zurich Life International signed an “exclusive” 10-year distribution agreement with Standard Chartered in the UAE.