United Arab Emirates: BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP Under The Patronage Of The UAE Insurance Authority Hosted An Exclusive Discussion On The Latest Insurance Regulations Development
Last Updated: 20 June 2017

New regulations are on the horizon for the UAE's fast-growing insurance market, which accounted for AED 40 billion in premiums and AED 73.7 billion in assets in 2016.  A leading regional law firm BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem and Associates LLP (BSA) hosted his Excellency Ibrahim Obaid Al Zaabi, Director General of the UAE Insurance Authority, who set out the Insurance Authority vision for the future and answered questions from the industry at this prestigious event that took place last week at the Capital Club DIFC.

BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem and Associates LLP (BSA) and under the patronage of the UAE Insurance Authority, was delighted to bring together 100 senior leaders of the local insurance industry to attend an exclusive presentation of the latest developments in insurance regulation and supervision.  

The seminar was moderated by Raghad Hammad, BSA Senior Associate, who captured the pulse of the insurance community by surveying attendees beforehand and articulating key observations and concerns. Wide-ranging discussions covered competition in the life insurance sector in light of the draft Circular No. 12 of 2017 (Regarding Life Insurance and Family Takaful Business in the UAE), recently issued regulations from the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA) aimed at regulating the promotion of foreign funds,  and forthcoming regulation on bancassurance.

H.E. Ibrahim Obaid Al Zaabi confirmed the end of the consultation period for the draft Circular No. 12 of 2017 and thanked the community for their responses. He also outlined new and forthcoming  laws in the pipeline including:

  • Preparation and issuance of legislative frameworks for the licensing of re-insurance companies
  • Draft law for licensing offices of insurance companies
  • Draft law concerning electronic insurance directives
  • New legislative framework for establishment of a compensation fund for the victims of unknown or uninsured vehicle accidents

The Director General also set out his key strategic priorities for the insurance sector including raising awareness levels among the general public, as well as measures to promote a greater level of Emiratization. "To address the gap in Emiratization levels, particularly in certain technical positions, the IA will operate a points system in line with an ambitious training and rehabilitation programme. Insurers will be scored based on Emiratization percentages and investment levels in training and development." The Director General added: "We will support the industry through cooperation agreements with specialized organizations such as the Chartered Insurance Institute, the Association of Compliance Officers, and the American Academy of Actuaries. We will be introducing the initiative "My Skills" for free training of nationals in cooperation with the best global institutes."

Raghad Hammad praised the Insurance Authority for its openness and engagement with the industry, particularly with the consultation process on draft laws. She added: "This seminar represents a unique forum to understand the decision-making process at the regulatory level and for the industry to have its voice heard directly by policymakers. BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem LLP is honoured to facilitate this exchange and help insurance professionals prepare for new and forthcoming regulations."

The event brought together key stakeholders from across the insurance sector including insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries, government officials, and prominent industry leaders including Fareed Lutfi, Secretary General, Emirates Insurance Association. Fareed Lutfi expressed his wish that BSA will continue to host this event on an annual basis and called for close coordination between all stakeholders, particularly at a regulatory level. H.E. Ibrahim Obaid Al Zaabi echoed this with an emphasis on close cooperation between the Insurance Authority and other government agencies including the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the Central Bank, ESCA, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The DHA was represented at the seminar by Dr Haidar Al Yousef, DHA Director of Health Funding, who discussed the new health insurance payment system covering clinical pricing and inpatient stay classification methodology.  The new system is currently being rolled out to all hospitals and clinics in Dubai; with full implementation expected by 2019.

Raghad Hammad closed the seminar with an invitation for the insurance community to continue engaging in constructive dialogue and transparency.

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