Regulator of the insurance sector
Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) supervises and regulates the insurance sector, following the merger of the Insurance Authority into CBUAE under Decretal Federal Law No. 25 of 2020. Accordingly, all rules, decisions, circulars, and regulations issued by the former ‘Insurance Authority’ under the provisions of the Federal Law no. 6 of 2007 will continue to apply to all licensed institutions and activities until they are replaced by CBUAE.
Licensing insurance companies
CBUAE registers insurance companies established in the UAE and licenses them to practice the activity.
Insurance companies include national insurance companies, foreign insurance companies and Takaful insurance companies. Foreign insurance companies can apply to practice in the UAE through either a branch office or an insurance agent.
To obtain a licence, the paid-up capital of an insurance company must not be less than AED 100 million or the equivalent thereof. In addition, the company shall be required to place a bank deposit equal to AED 6 million in case of practicing property and liability insurance and AED 4 million in case of practising personal insurance and funds–building operations.
Contact CBUAE via email to enquire about licensing requirements. Find out list of fees for obtaining different types of insurance licences.
Types of insurance
The following types of insurance are available in the UAE:
- Life insurance
- Health insurance
- Property insurance (motor, fire, marine)
- Liability insurance (third party liability for vehicles, personal accident insurance, employer liability insurance, insurance of trains, insurance of cash).
Refer to the list of registered insurance companies and related businesses (PDF, 526 KB).
An insurance broker is a person who, independently, intermediates in insurance operations between an insurance seeker on the one hand, and any insurance company, on the other, and receive commission from the insurance companies for his efforts.
The most important conditions for licensing insurance brokers include:
- ownership of UAE nationals in the capital must not be less than 51 per cent
- the company’s paid-up capital must not be less that AED 3 million
- providing a bank guarantee of value AED 3 million, issued by one of the licensed banks operating in the UAE, for the Head Office, and a bank guarantee of value AED 1 million for branches.
Insurance agents include companies and individuals authorised by an insurance company licensed in the UAE to carry out insurance business on its behalf or on behalf of any of its branches.
Conditions for registration of insurance agents include a paid-up capital of at least AED 500,000 and the capital should be fully owned by UAE nationals. Banks licensed to operate in the UAE shall be exempted from this condition, and any other company may be exempted for reasons relating to public interest requirements.
TPA Companies (Health Insurance Third Party Administrator)
Businesses of TPA companies shall be restricted to the following:
- settling claims arising from health insurance
- paying claims on behalf of the insurance company
- managing health insurance programs approved by the insurance company
- concluding agreements with medical treatment service providers on behalf of the insurance company
- developing health insurance packages, without marketing or selling them
- establishing a network with service providers
- providing advisory services in subscription.
The company’s capital must not be less than AED 5 million, of which, 51 per cent must be owned by UAE nationals. The company shall be required to deposit a bank guarantee of value AED 1 million issued by a bank licensed in the UAE.
Surveyors & Loss Adjusters
Surveyors & Loss Adjusters are the companies and individuals responsible for detecting and assessing damages that occurred in the subject matter of the insurance.
For companies to be registered, capital must not be less than AED 1 million, of which UAE nationals must own 51 per cent. The company shall also be required to provide an insurance policy of value AED 1 million against civil liability arising from practising the profession.
Insurance consultants are the companies and individuals, who study insurance coverage needs of their customers and provide advice in respect of the appropriate insurance coverage, assist in preparation of insurance requisites and receive remunerations from their customers for their efforts.
Registration in the ‘Insurance Consultants Register’ must be required from one of the partners or one of its responsible employees, as the case may be. The company shall also be required to provide an insurance policy of value AED 3 million provided that the amount of liability in the policy does not exceed AED 30,000, and UAE nationals must own 51 per cent of the capital.
Actuarial companies and the persons are those who provide estimates of value of the insurance contracts and the documents and accounts relating thereto.
The paid-up capital of the actuarial company must not be less than AED 100,000 for a company incorporated in the UAE, and AED 250,000 or the equivalent thereof for a company incorporated in a financial free zone in the UAE or a foreign company.
Prices comparison websites
There are many companies that are registered to provide comparison of prices for insurance policies through the Internet.
Insurance companies and insurance-related professionals except for insurance brokers are prohibited from dealing with price comparison websites. On the other hand, price comparison websites are prohibited from communicating, directly with the customer. Such communication must be carried out only through a licensed insurance broker contracted with the website.
Producers of insurance market insurance policies by introducing natural and juridical persons to the company they work for, the insurance services and products it provides and the offers it prepares. This is usually carried out through regular or electronic means by placing a link for the company on their electronic accounts, or their addresses on social media.
Find insurance regulations in the following areas:
- Insurance consultancy
- Insurance actuary
- Minimum capital regulations
- Fees for supervision
- Code of conduct and ethics
- Takaful insurance
- Surveyors and loss adjusters
- Insurance agents’ business
- Health insurance licensing (third party administrator-TPA)
- Insurance brokerage
- Financial regulations
- Points of sale
- Electronic insurance
- Bank assurance
- Insurance disputes Committees
- Sand box
- Life insurance
- Insurance policy language
- Insurance producers
- Tax compliance
- Common reporting standards
- Financial regulations/Takaful.
The CBUAE Rulebook is a resource of the regulations, standards and guidelines issued by Central Bank of the UAE. It aims to provide easy access to compliance material and help individuals and businesses in the financial industry to stay aware of the same.