Egypt's Senate to resume discussions over new insurance law

Gamal Essam El-Din , Saturday 12 Mar 2022

Egypt's Senate – the consultative upper house of parliament – will convene on Sunday and Monday to resume discussions over the articles of the new insurance law following a two-week recess.

File Photo: Egypt s Senate. Al-Ahram
File Photo: Egypt s Senate. Al-Ahram

The discussions come after the government-drafted law was approved in principle on 27 February. The Senate, which has so far discussed 40 articles of the new law, will focus this week on the articles regulating the performance of the government-owned insurance funds.

The law states this type of funds cover risks not usually accepted by insurance companies. "These risks are related to national and social objectives which are of no interest to private insurance companies."

Hani Sirri, head of the Senate's Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, said the draft Unified Insurance Law aims to draw up new and comprehensive rules for regulating the insurance industry and market in Egypt.

 “The past four decades have practically shown that the insurance market is in a pressing need for new legislative and regulatory rules,” said Sirri, adding that “technological developments and the creation of new insurance tools also require that a unified insurance legislation be passed.”

Sirri stated that the new law is necessary to cover a host of professions and services that were lately introduced into the insurance industry.

It seeks to cover the rights of holders of insurance policies and private insurance funds,” said Sirri, noting that “the law also aims to streamline insurance rules to go in line with new international standards, and to speed up digitisation reforms and the use of financial technology in the insurance sector.”

Sirri pointed out that “the law is meant to widen the scope of obligatory insurance operations in order to achieve insurance inclusiveness and reach out to poor and limited-income classes that are not currently covered by any kind of insurance, particularly health insurance.”

He explained that the new law will cover all kinds of insurance operations. "The law will regulate insurance companies, special funds, obligatory operations, such as highway accidents, and state the new supervisory rules for the insurance industry," said Sirri, adding that "at the end we will have a unified law that will regulate all forms of insurance in Egypt that is in line with international rules and methods and imposes stricter supervision."

Deputy Senate Speaker Bahaaeddin Abu Shoka said the law is in line with Article 28 which states that the state shall do its best to create an investment-friendly climate and pay special attention to small, medium and micro-size enterprises in all fields.

"In this respect, the law makes insurance compulsory for small-scale enterprises to encourage them to gain more ground in Egypt's economy," said Abu Shoka, adding that "the law is in line with Article 221 which states that the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority shall be responsible for monitoring and supervising non-banking markets and instruments, including capital markets, and insurance activities."

Phoebe Fawzi, another deputy Senate speaker, said the law targets unifying all laws governing the insurance sector into one law.

"This explains why the law is on unified insurance, not to mention that it is meant to go in line with international standards and technological developments in the insurance sector in order to attract more investments to Egypt in this field," said Fawzi.

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