Willis Group Holdings (WSH), the global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker, has launched the UK's first Shariah compliant commercial real estate insurance, in response to growing demand from property investors for insurance cover that is compliant with Islamic law.

The cover offers real estate investors and companies access to insurance that is compliant with the principles of Shariah law.

It is underwritten by Cobalt Underwriting, a specialist insurance and reinsurance underwriting agency based in London. Security is provided by QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited and XL Group PLC. The policy retains price neutrality, meaning the premiums are equivalent to a like-for-like non-Shariah policy.

John Dilley, Managing Director of the Willis Real Estate Practice, commented: "While the global economic crisis has impacted many areas of the world’s financial system, Islamic finance has continued to deliver a rapid rate of growth. Islamic finance assets reached an estimated $1.7 trillion at the end of 2013, having experienced an average compound annual growth rate of 17.6% over the prior four yearsi."

He continued: "Hand in hand with the growth in Islamic finance is the demand for Shariah compliant insurance cover, in particular for real estate investors. Access to underwriting capacity, which is compliant with Islamic law for major risks, has not previously been available in the UK. Willis has responded to the needs of real estate investors by developing the UK’s first Shariah compliant real estate insurance solution."