Purpose: Islamic finance is becoming a core part of the financial services economy in the Middle East countries. There is a strong likelihood that Islamic finance is also driving the expansion of trade in insurance services. However, research on Islamic finance’s effect on trade in insurance services is scant. This study aims to fill this gap by investigating if Islamic finance has promoted trade in insurance services. Design/methodology/approach: This study adopts the gravity modelling framework and the panel data estimation procedure in understanding the effects of Islamic finance on trade in insurance. Findings: The empirical results reveal a statistically significant positive correlation of Islamic finance with the exports and imports of insurance services. Economic sizes (domestic and trading partners), growth in trading partners, cost of doing business, legal rights and financial freedom are other statistically significant determinants. Research limitations/implications: It makes a positive contribution to the Islamic financial services literature. Islamic finance is an integral part of the conventional banking and financial sector in the Middle East that actively fosters the expansion of insurance services that need support, given its essential role in services trade. Originality/value: This study is unique as it directs attention to the role of Islamic finance in fostering trade in insurance services within an inclusive modelling framework that has been overlooked in the Islamic finance literature.
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