Overview on the Insurance Disputes in the UAE

Insurance disputes in the UAE are an increasingly common occurrence. As the number of insurance policies and claims has increased over the years, so too has the number of disputes. In this article, we will look at the causes of insurance disputes in the UAE, the legal framework governing such disputes, and the steps that can be taken to resolve them.

Causes of Insurance Disputes in the UAE:

Insurance disputes in the UAE can arise for a variety of reasons. The most common causes of insurance disputes in the UAE are:

  1. Denial of claims: Insurers often deny claims based on technicalities, such as incomplete documentation, pre-existing conditions, or non-disclosure of information. This can lead to disputes when the insured party believes that the claim is valid.
  1. Interpretation of policy terms: Insurance policies are often written in technical language that can be difficult to understand. Disputes may arise when the insured party and the insurer interpret the policy terms differently.
  1. Disputes over liability: Disputes may arise over who is liable for the loss or damage. This can happen when there are multiple parties involved in the claim, such as in a car accident.
  1. Disputes over the amount of compensation: Disputes may arise over the amount of compensation offered by the insurer. The insured party may believe that they are entitled to more than what is being offered.

When a dispute arises, the policyholder and insurer may attempt to resolve the matter through negotiation or mediation. If these efforts are unsuccessful, the parties may need to resort to litigation to resolve the dispute.

Legal Framework Governing Insurance Disputes in the UAE:

The insurance industry in the UAE is regulated by the Insurance Authority (“IA”), which is responsible for licensing and regulating insurance companies and intermediaries, as well as enforcing compliance with insurance laws and regulations. The main legislation governing insurance in the UAE is Federal Law No. 6 of 2007 on the Establishment of the Insurance Authority and Regulation of Insurance Operations (the “Insurance Law”). The Insurance Law provides a framework for the regulation of insurance activities in the UAE and sets out the rights and obligations of insurers and insured parties.

In addition to the Insurance Law, insurance disputes in the UAE may also be governed by other laws and regulations, such as the UAE Civil Code and the UAE Commercial Code. The UAE Civil Code sets out the general principles of contract law, while the UAE Commercial Code provides a framework for commercial transactions, including insurance contracts.

Under the Insurance Law, insurance companies are required to provide policyholders with clear and accurate information about the terms and conditions of their policies, as well as the claims process. Policyholders are also required to provide insurers with all necessary information related to their claims, and to cooperate with the insurer during the claims process.

Steps to Resolve Insurance Disputes in the UAE:

If an insurance dispute arises in the UAE, the first step is to try to resolve it through negotiation and mediation. This can involve discussions between the insured party and the insurer or the involvement of a neutral third-party mediator.

If mediation is unsuccessful, the dispute may be referred to the courts. And pursuant to article number (4) of the Insurance Authority Board Decision No. 33/2019 concerning the Regulation of the Committees for the Settlement and Resolution of Insurance Disputes (the “Insurance Authority Board Decision”), the UAE has a specialized court for insurance disputes, the Insurance Disputes Settlement Committee (the “IDSC”). The IDSC has exclusive jurisdiction to hear insurance disputes except the disputes mentioned in article number (5) of the Insurance Authority Board Decision and is responsible for resolving disputes between insurers and insured parties. The decision of the IDSC can be appealed before the competent courts, and if the parties did not appeal the IDSC decision through the legal durations set by the laws, the same shall be final and binding.

In the UAE, insurance disputes are typically resolved through the courts. The UAE court system consists of three levels: the Court of First Instance, the Court of Appeal, and the Court of Cassation. The court system is based on civil law principles, and the language of the courts is Arabic.

Conclusion:

Insurance disputes in the UAE can be complex and challenging to resolve. It is important for policyholders and insurers to understand their rights and obligations under the Insurance Law and other relevant laws, and to be familiar with the legal framework for insurance disputes in the UAE and to seek legal advice if a dispute arises. While litigation is the most common method of resolving insurance disputes in the UAE, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation or arbitration may also be effective in resolving disputes in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Disclaimer:

This publication does not provide any legal advice and it is for information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information in this publication as a basis for making any business, legal or other decisions. Any reliance you place on such material is therefore strictly at your own risk.

Author: Ahmed Rabie

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Executive Associate – Ahmed Rabie

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Executive Associate – Ahmed Rabie

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