The Insurance Authority Celebrates the UAE’s 43rd National Day
Al-Mansouri: The UAE’s development experience is one of a kind and the UAE’s achievements have dazzled the world
Abu Dhabi on November 24, 2014
The Insurance Authority has recently organized a special ceremony to mark the UAE’s 43rd National Day at the IA's headquarters in Abu Dhabi. The ceremony was attended by H.E. Eng. Sultan Bin Saeed Al-Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the IA, the IA’s staff, its strategic partners, and representatives of insurance companies and customers.
The ceremony was kicked off with the UAE’s national anthem, followed by art and heritage shows and popular contests. Each showcase embodied the spirit of the federation and narrated the story of the UAE’s founder, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the founding fathers and rulers of the UAE as they built up the country and its citizens. The showcases then explored the subsequent journey of progress and prosperity seen in various fields in the UAE.
As a way to mark the 43rd UAE National Day, a group of students with special needs from the Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care & Special Needs (ZHO) handed out congratulation cards to H. E. Eng. Sultan Bin Saeed Al-Mansouri, H.E. Ebrahim Obaid Al Zaabi and the guests. Those in attendance showed their appreciation for the ZHO's initiative of delivering congratulations and their keenness to share the National Day celebrations with the IA.
On this occasion, H. E. Eng. Sultan Bin Saeed Al-Mansouri asserted that the UAE’s National Day is a celebration of the achievements of a leadership and a nation that 43 years ago firmly managed to build a state that is now on top of the world today. The UAE is now a nation that is rich in all components (including its history and its present), and is a nation that is powerful, having made achievements that have dazzled the entire world.
Al Mansouri said that the 2nd of December 1971 is a memorable day in the memory of the Emirati people and their bright history. It was a day in which the wisdom of a peerless leadership, combined with the will of a strong nation, founded a country described as having great pride and honor in international forums.
He pointed out that the UAE’s National Day is an opportunity to express the values of belonging to this country and an occasion to declare loyalty to the founders, especially the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, for their efforts, thought, and work in turning the dream of the federation into a reality. Furthermore, it is an occasion that embodies the value of loyalty to the wise leadership of the UAE, which have harnessed all potential and energies to build a cutting-edge country and a citizenry armed with science, knowledge, and technology.
Al-Mansouri added that the development approach planned by the wise leadership (including His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and his brother, His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai) has led to a strengthening of the path of development and modernization operating in all areas in the UAE. The UAE has become a competitor to the developed countries in many performance indicators in economic, development, and social sectors.
He noted that the UAE has a unique and specific experience in comprehensive and sustainable development, according to the parameters and standards applicable in the developed countries. He noted that the UAE is determined to move forward with confident and steady steps and meet the requirements and concepts of the age. This will achieve further progress and development, so that its flag can flutter high all the time.
He asserted that the achievements made by the UAE’s insurance sector are considered the fruit born by the support provided by the wise leadership and the federation of the UAE.
Al-Mansouri also pointed out that the UAE has the top insurance industry market of all Arab countries; the value of the premiums written in the UAE is now over AED29.5 billon. The UAE insurance market was ranked as the most dynamic in the Middle East and North African region by international institutions specialized in market research. At the same time, the UAE recorded the highest expenditure on insurance services per capita in the area, ranking number one in the list of emerging markets in terms of the rate of insurance intensity and penetration.
Al Mansouri noted that the IA has managed to upgrade the laws and rules that regulate the UAE’s insurance market as per the best international laws and standards. The IA has also made steps toward improving its services to the policyholder and insurance business sector, changes that are consistent with the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership and the directions that the government has been heading in. Accordingly, the IA contributed to improving the performance of national and foreign insurance companies operating in the UAE and has helped increase the insurance sector’s contribution to the national economy and gross domestic product.
In 2013, the Emirati insurance sector has achieved outstanding results compared to previous years, as most of the insurance indicators have surged at high rates. This indicates the unlimited support provided by the wise leadership to such a vital sector. These results also highlight the massive efforts made by the IA to develop the market’s performance, boost its regulatory and legal abilities, and increase growth rates in all areas.
The value of all the written premiums in all insurance branches operating in the Emirati market amounted to AED29.5 billion in 2013, with a growth rate of 12.2% when compared to 2012. The amount of money invested in the sector has been recorded at AED37.8 billion, which is increasing by 32% annually. The value of rights of national insurance companies’ shareholders recorded (AED17.5) billion which affirms the importance of the insurance sector and its vital role to the national economy.
The premiums collected by the property insurance and liability insurance branches rose to AED22.5 billion during 2013, rising by 10.8% when compared to 2012. The share of national companies in these premiums was recorded at 74.4%, while the share of foreign companies was recorded at 25.6%. The value of the premiums written for the insurance of persons and funds accumulation operations rose to AED7 billion, increasing by 14.2%, whilst the share of national companies involved in these premiums was recorded at 21.8% and the share of foreign companies recorded at 78.2%.
The number of companies registered in the IA’s records amounted to 60 insurance companies by the end of 2013, including 34 national companies and 26 foreign insurance companies. The number of companies practicing all insurance branches (e.g. insurance of persons and funds accumulation operations and property and liability insurance) totaled 11 national companies and 2 foreign companies. The number of companies practicing property and liability insurance amounted to 20 national companies and 17 foreign companies. The number of companies that can insure persons and funds accumulation operations totaled 2 national companies and 8 foreign companies. Only 1 national company offers export credit insurance. Furthermore, 10 national companies apply the Takaful insurance system.
The IA’s records contain 18 insurance agents, and 168 insurance brokers (including 161 national brokers and 7 foreign brokers). The number of insurance consultants amounted to 19, the number of loss adjusters and surveyors amounted to 72, while the number of insurance mathematicians amounted to 36.
Whilst legally regulating the market, the IA makes great effort to pursue upgrading the laws and regulations that organize the UAE’s insurance market as per the best international rules and standards.
Recently, the IA has issued many laws and instructions which mainly aim to ensure that insurance practices in the UAE market are on sound legal, technical, and supervisory foundations. One example is the insurance brokerage law in 2013, which aims to re-organize the market in accordance with the standards of profession practice control. Laws like these help to promote the insurance brokerage profession in accordance with the best international current practices and improve the broker’s working environment. They ensure the provision of qualified brokers and protect the interests of all relevant parties. Furthermore, the IA has issued instructions and procedures concerning money laundering and terrorism financing within insurance activity, which were issued as part of the IA’s commitment to cooperate and coordinate with the regulatory and monetary authorities and ensure the integrity of the financial system and insurance/financial transactions carried out in the UAE.
At the present time, the IA is working on another package of laws and instructions that will be released soon, including the draft financial instructions for traditional and Takaful insurance companies.
Along with nationalization in the insurance sector, the IA is giving this issue strategic priority. It will offer a comprehensive perspective in order to boost the attractiveness of work and qualify technical staff at all levels.
In this framework, the IA has launched an initiative to qualify the staff working in the insurance sector, by enabling the citizens working in the sector to receive the highest professional insurance certificate: the London Chartered Insurance Institute fellowship certificate (ACII). The first group of 36 Emirati citizens working in insurance has now been trained. A new version of these courses will be released soon.
The nationalization plan for the insurance sector was developed and implemented in 2013-2015 and it aims to increase the nationalization rate. It also aims to prepare the UAE’s youth to work in the advanced technical, financial, legal, and administrative aspects of insurance activities.
In the insurance companies operating in the UAE, the nationalization rate was recorded at 8.9% in 2013, out of 8590 employees working in insurance companies operating in the UAE.
In the area of regulatory oversight, the IA is keen to develop the role of the insurance sector, improve its performance, boost the competitive edge of the local insurance market, improve the oversight of the insurance industry in the UAE, and strengthen regional and international confidence in the UAE’s insurance industry.
The IA assumes a supervisory and regulatory role over insurance companies and insurance-related professions and ensures that the insurance sector is regulated and supervised as per the best legal rules applicable in the international insurance industry. The IA also verifies that the companies abide by the relevant legislation, and ensures the integrity of the technical and financial statuses of the companies and insurance-related professions. Additionally, the IA checks the extent to which companies abide by the technical rules for practicing insurance and reinsurance operations, and oversees the sector’s performance and the development of its competitiveness as per the latest international standards and practices.
In the area of providing competitive services to customers, the IA is making sophisticated efforts to improve the standard of insurance services. Standards must meet and cope with wise leadership directives concerned with the development of the business environment, government performance, and the adoption of competitive smart services.
Throughout 2014, the IA has managed to convert a significant part of its customer services to electronic and smart services via mobile phones and tablets. The new services are user-friendly and save time and effort. Additionally, they contribute to upgrading the work carried out in the IA and in the local insurance market, thus boosting the competitiveness of business performance in the UAE.
The new smart services include over 33 smart services. Smart phone applications have been upgraded and systems that receive insurance complaints via smart phones have been empowered. National and foreign insurance companies can now renew their registration, and national and foreign company branches can now register and renew their registration. Insurance agents, brokers, loss adjusters, surveyors, mathematicians, insurance consultants, and health insurance claims management companies (whether companies or individuals) can now register or renew their registration. The branches of these professions can also register or renew their registration or renew the registration of their records. Services also include a system for handling requests to amend the data of insurance companies, health insurance claims management companies, companies and individuals, insurance agents and brokers, loss adjusters and surveyors, mathematicians, and insurance consultants held on record. Other services include a system to handle the electronic payment of fees for services provided by the IA. The IA's staff can provide and follow up on the procedures of digital services 24/7.
The IA is keen to boost the mechanisms that raise the insurance awareness of policyholders and the public. This aim is in line with its vision and mission, which aims to boost the competitiveness of local insurance markets and improve them so that they are at a world-class level, thereby ensuring that policyholders and beneficiaries are covered by insurance protection.
In this framework, the IA has launched many awareness campaigns, including campaigns in Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall, Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah’s Expo Centre. The campaigns introduced to the policyholders and the public offers information on their insurance rights when buying the policies, as well as their financial and technical obligations. Additionally, the campaigns introduced information on the protection of the interests of companies and insurance-related professions. All information was delivered through the introduction of informed and concentrated awareness and educational messages derived from the IA's incorporation law and the instructions and regulations issued by the IA, as well as the laws and regulations issued by the UAE concerning insurance activity.
Moreover, the IA has organized many awareness and educational seminars on all aspects of insurance to develop the insurance awareness of policyholders, companies, and the public.
At the level of local agreements, the IA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Higher Colleges of Technology in September 2014. The memorandum covered the areas of education, training, and the promotion of creative ideas and scientific skills for Emirati students working in development projects at the level of the IA and the insurance sector.
At the level of foreign agreements, the IA has signed a MoU with the Asian Institute of Competitiveness, and the College of Lee Kuan Yew for Public Policy- National University of Singapore in March 2014. The agreement will boost the insurance sector's contribution to the UAE’s economy and will establish the competitive abilities of the UAE market as a leading financial/insurance hub in the Middle East region.
Furthermore, the IA has signed a MoU with the Board of Financial Services and Financial Supervisory Services in the Republic of Korea. The agreement aims to improve bilateral relations via a strategic partnership, and will strengthen mutual cooperation in the insurance area. In addition, it is hoped that both parties will exchange information and experiences to boost and develop the IA's strategic objectives (especially those that relate to the development of the Emirati insurance sector), and to boost the competitive edge of the local insurance market.