The new UAE insurance laws usher in the Banking and Insurance Dispute Resolution Unit (Bidru), replacing the Insurance Settlement Dispute Committee (IDC). Bidru, an independent juristic entity, is tasked with receiving and resolving complaints against insurance companies, along with settling disputes arising from insurance contracts, works, and services.
Claim Value Threshold
According to the updated laws, insurers are restricted from appealing Bidru’s decisions if the claim value falls below Dh50,000. In cases where the claim value exceeds Dh50,000, insurers retain the right to appeal within 30 days from the issuance date or notification of the decision, taking the matter before the Court of Appeal.
Streamlined Decision Process: UAE Insurance
Sam Wakerley, Head of Insurance and Reinsurance at Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) in the Middle East, sees Bidru acting as an equivalent to the UAE Court of First Instance, streamlining the process for reaching a final, binding judgment on insurance claims.
The new laws, effective from November 30, 2023, replace Federal Law No. 6 of 2007 with Federal Law No. 48 of 2023. These changes also grant permission to purchase insurance from a company outside the UAE if unavailable within the country. Furthermore, electronic issuance of policies is permitted, and certain policies may be exempted from the requirement to be in the Arabic language.
Shift in Oversight: UAE Insurance
The Emirates Insurance Association has undergone a transformation, making way for the Emirates Insurance Federation, now under the supervision of the UAE Central Bank.