Registration on the ‘Insurance Authority (IA) List’ makes it legal for Holborn Assets and other insurance-related companies to do business in the UAE as of 2016 and beyond.
We cannot do without the IA and its regulation, and nor would we want to. The IA makes business safer for clients in the UAE, UK expats included, and Holborn Assets are proud to be registered on the IA List.
1. So what is the ‘IA List’ exactly?
There are actually nine lists run by the IA covering different types of insurance companies and related professions:
- Insurance Companies
- Insurance Broker Companies
- Insurance Agents
- Insurance Consultant Companies
- Insurance Consultant Individuals
- Loss and Damage Adjuster Companies
- Loss and Damage Adjuster Individuals
- Insurance Experts Mathematics
- Third Party Administrators (TPAs)
These lists include only companies which are licensed, registered and regulated by the IA to operate in the UAE insurance sector.
2.Can I have a look at this ‘IA List’ myself?
Yes – thanks to the website of the IA.
Access all nine lists of the IA by selecting ‘Licensing and registration’ from the pull-down menu on the left.
Then select ‘Registered Insurance Companies and Related Professions’ from the options that cascade down.
Now look top centre of the webpage; you will find all nine lists are accessible from the list menu you see. Click where it says ‘Insurance Companies’ to review them all.
3.Where is Holborn Assets on the ‘IA List’?
To pinpoint Holborn Assets, select ‘Insurance Broker Companies’ from the list menu.
Including Holborn Assets, there are currently 145 insurance brokers registered. Scroll to the bottom of the first page of the list and select page four to find us, registered as ID number 180.
4.How does a company get on the relevant ‘IA List’?
A company wanting to operate in the UAE insurance sector gets on the relevant ‘IA List’ by satisfying the rigorous Insurance Authority (IA) that it is fit to practise.
For insurance brokers like Holborn Assets, the conditions of doing regulated business were spelled out anew by the IA in late 2014 with the fresh financial regulations going live in January 2015:
- Paid-up capital requirement and unconditional bank guarantee capital is AED 3m
- Formal legal agreement necessary with each insurer
As international law firm Holman Fenwick Willan observes, “the [new] financial regulations, therefore, mark a new era in insurance regulation in the UAE with a move to a more complex and risk-based approach to prudential regulation of the UAE insurance market.”
5.So what is the Insurance Authority (IA) anyway?
The Insurance Authority (IA) was established in 2007 under Federal Law No. 6 “to regulate and supervise the insurance sector in the United Arab Emirates.”
The Board of Directors of the IA was formed under the UAE Cabinet, and chaired by His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy. The Board presides over the decision-making process of the IA.
Operations are headed by the Director General His Excellency Ibrahim Obaid Al Zaabi, former board member of the IA and one-time member “… of various committees between SCA, the Ministry of Economy and the Central Bank of UAE.”
6.Why is the IA a force to be reckoned with?
Legal sovereign establishment and elite senior leadership are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the credentials of the IA:
WILLING TO ENFORCE
The IA has teeth – and is not afraid to use them. The Gulf news reported that, in 2015, “the Authority cancelled the licenses of 16 insurance brokers that did not abide by the guidelines issued for the insurance sector in late 2013.”
NEW INTERNATIONAL STATUS
What’s more, the IA was given meaningful international recognition in November 2015 with Director General Ibrahim Obaid Al Zaabi selected to sit on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). This is a big deal: “… the IAIS represents insurance regulators and supervisors of more than 200 jurisdictions in nearly 140 countries, constituting 97% of the world’s insurance premiums.”
The insurance sector in the UAE has been growing fast. Director General Ibrahim Obaid Al Zaabi of the IA reported a growth of 13.5% in the value of all written insurance premiums between 2013 and 2014 to The National newspaper.
The IA is proud to be not only keeping pace but leading from the front with cogent regulation, growing international respect and a clear sovereign vision “to promote the role of the [UAE] insurance industry to indemnify persons, property and liabilities against risks to ultimately protect the national economy.”
And the bottom line for the UK expat? Good news – the IA of the UAE and the ‘IA List(s)’ mean that, if you use a registered insurance broker such as Holborn Assets, then you have the UAE government looking out for your interests as well as ourselves.