Egypt’s Senate – the consultative upper house of parliament – will resume its discussion of the articles of the new insurance law on Sunday and Monday following a two-week recess.
On 27 February, the government-drafted law was approved in principle. Senators have discussed 40 of the 40 articles of the new law, but this week they will focus on the articles that govern the government-owned insurance funds.
The draft Unified Insurance Law is intended to establish a new, comprehensive standard for regulating the insurance industry and market in Egypt, said Hani Sirri, head of the Senate’s Financial and Economic Affairs Committee.
According to Sirri, the past four decades have demonstrated the need for legislation and regulations in the insurance market. He added that new insurance tools and technological advancements require a unified insurance law.
Sirri emphasized that the new law is needed to cover a number of new professions and services recently introduced in the insurance industry.
“It seeks to cover the rights of holders of insurance policies and private insurance funds,” said Sirri.
“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.
“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.
“The law will regulate insurance companies, special funds, obligatory operations, such as highway accidents, and state the new supervisory rules for the insurance industry; 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.”
The law is in line with Article 28 of the Constitution, which states that the state should create a climate that encourages investment and be particularly attentive to the needs of small, medium, and micro-enterprises.
“In this respect, the law makes insurance compulsory for small-scale enterprises to encourage them to gain more ground in Egypt’s economy,” said Deputy Senate Speaker Bahaaeddin Abu Shoka.
Shoka added that the law complies with Article 221, which states that the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority shall be responsible for monitoring and supervising nonbanking markets and instruments, including the capital markets and insurance activities.
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