The insurance sector in the United Arab Emirates is one of the most active sectors in view of its vital role in serving the national economy and providing protection to it and to the community.
The importance of this sector and its vital role in the national economy is reflected in the volume of investment, amounting to (60.7) billion dirhams at the end of 2017, as well as the gross written premiums of the insurance market in the country amounting to (44.8) billion dirhams.
This vital role of the insurance sector was reflected in the growth of its contribution rate in the GDP to reach (2.24%) in 2016. The growth is expected to continue in the subsequent years, corresponding to the increase in the gross written premiums.
Based on this vital position of the insurance sector in the national economy, the Insurance Authority acts a leading and remarkable role in organizing and developing the UAE insurance market.
The local, regional and international expertise have been used to develop the necessary legislationsto organize, develop and improve the market in a sustainable manner. The legislations organizing the sector aim to ensure the appropriate climate for its development, enhance the role of the insurance industry in insuring persons, property and liabilities against risks, protecting the national economy and developing the performance of the local insurance market and entities on legal basis.
Energy insurance and nuclear energy plants are an important topic for countries that have established or have set up nuclear energy plants for peaceful purposes, including the United Arab Emirates.
Given the catastrophic nature of energy and nuclear risks, insurance dealt with these risks by the forming of pools. Therefore, the Insurance Authority has worked, over the past period , on the initiative of establishing an insurance pool "the Nuclear Insurance Pool", which comprises a group of national companies to provide coverage of nuclear energy in the UAE.
The Authority's endeavors has been successful, as this initiative was very successful. This resulted in the retention of a larger percentage of premiums within the State, as well as building expertise in this specialized line of business.
Moreover, The Authority has signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR)to enhance the ties of cooperationin assessing and evaluating insurance policies and sources of insurance. The scope of its work included several points, the most important of which is enhancing the provision of assistance and cooperation between the parties in the areas of the specified joint interest, exchanging information and discussing validating it, specially, with respect to insurance companies and ensuring their sustainability to work as insurers in accordance with the nuclear liability act.As well as, the exchange of information and verification of the legal requirements of insurance companies, the legal requirements of insurance policies in the State, their registration by the Insurance Authority, reviewing and assessing insurance policies, having due regard to the provisions of the nuclear liability act, insurance law, re-insurance requirements, insurance associations and sharia compliant insurance (Takaful insurance) in accordance the law in the UAE.
The understanding and awareness of the Insurance Authority that the insurance sector in the UAE is not immune to the challenges and changes facing the world economy, especially the world of finance and business, has always made it a priority to anticipate early challenges and opportunities, based on the State's strategy for shaping the future.
In this context, the Authority has undertaken several initiatives and programs during the last stage to increase the efficiency of the insurance sector, provide the best insurance services for the policyholders, beneficiaries and the market, as well as, enhancing the competitiveness of the UAE market worldwide.
Additionally, the Insurance Authority It has accomplished more achievements for the UAE insurance sector during the last stage, which contributed to support the growth of the national economy and achieve the vision and strategy of the State in many vital areas.
In view of that, the growth of the insurance sector in the UAE in 2018 has expanded according to preliminary estimates to be in line with the development of the economic activity in the State, as well as, improving the degree of risk selection at the level of the market as a whole.
Consequently, the UAE will continue to be on the top of the insurance premiums list in the insurance markets in the Arab and North African countries for the eleventh consecutive year. While, it is expected to achieve significant progress in Asia and the world, after it was ranked (12) in Asia and (36) worldwide in 2017 according to global reports.
The Authority has issued several legal regulations related to the organization of the sector and insurance related professions, including the Unified Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy Regulations and the Financial Regulations for insurance companies and Takaful insurance companies, bringing the number of laws and regulations issued by the Authority since its establishment almost (40) legislations and regulations.
The Insurance Authorityhas succeeded in transforming all its services to clients, policyholders and the public into smart services, most of which are utilized in less than a minute. It has also succeeded in adopting new mechanisms to encourage innovation, establish the concept of innovation in insurance products, and increase the number of new insurance products and services.
The Authority is currently studying several technical and technological projects that will contribute to the development of the insurance sector, according to the mechanisms of Reg.Tech, including the transition to the next generation of insurance sector supervision, through the preparation of the digital supervisory platform and the electronic link with insurance companies.
The insurance programs and projects of the Insurance Authority and the positive growth indicators of the national economy and the local market indicate that the insurance sector in the UAE is heading towards a new stage of increasing business growth, developing the competitiveness of the UAE's insurance market and enhancing its leading position in the region and worldwide.