Cobalt Insurer of Preference for UK’s first commercial Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project

London 21 August 2015

Shariah-compliant managing general agent Cobalt Underwriting has been selected as the insurer of preference for the UK’s first commercial Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, the proposed London Paramount Entertainment Resort in Kent.

The Paramount Studios backed project that is set to transform the Swanscombe peninsula, near Ebbsfleet, has been valued at £3 billion. Under the terms of Cobalt’s agreement the underwriter will be given the opportunity to quote for every insurance contract required during its construction. Work is expected to start in two years, with the project due to open to the public in 2020, creating 27,000 jobs. It will transform the area and its links to Europe are expected to see the site rival Euro Disney as a major family attraction.

Such is the scale and the importance of the development, which is set to boost the Kent economy, that it has become the first commercial venture to be awarded Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project status by the UK government, allowing the development proposals to be reviewed and authorised by the Planning Inspectorate which reports to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Cobalt Underwriting have been given the preferred status as much of the investment for the infrastructure work and construction is being provided by investors from the Gulf States and as such they are keen for the insurance to be placed in a Shariah compliant manner, where possible.

CEO Richard Bishop says the first insurance covers have already been put in place. “Much of the money financing the initial stages and possibly the full development project is money coming from the Gulf,” he added. “We have been selected as their insurer of preference as they would rather have their policies Shariah-compliant wherever possible. Cobalt will have the opportunity to provide the Shariah compliant options for the clients to consider and will always be asked to at least provide terms on each risk. We will however need to be competitive.” explained Mr Bishop. “Contracts for property owners liability and some environmental impairment liability have been issued.”

The announcement adds further momentum to the development of Cobalt Underwriting and the growing demand for Shariah-compliant insurance products by the increasing number of major Islamic investors in the UK and Europe.

“There are an increasing number of major projects that have been announced this year in London, the UK and Europe which are backed by Middle Eastern and Islamic investors,” said Mr Bishop. “We feel sure that the demand for Shariah compliant options when it comes to insurance will continue to grow and we are working with leading underwriters both inside and outside of Lloyd’s and the London market to provide the capacity to meet these demands. We are delighted with the progress we have made, and believe that the London market has a major opportunity to deliver real value to the Islamic investors and insurance clients.”

 

David Testa, Chief Executive of London Paramount, said: “We’re delighted to have Cobalt on board – this is another important step in the right direction for the future of the project.”

Ends

For further information please contact:

Andrew Driver, Impact Media, E-mail: andrew@impactmediauk.com, Tel: 07767662799

 

For further information on London Paramount

Press office telephone number: 0808 178 2560

Email: media@londonparamount.info

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