Muscat: Oman's Capital Market Authority (CMA) is set to enact a new insurance law, which will offer more flexibility for insurance companies for providing risk coverage.
The draft of the law has been circulated among related parties (especially insurance firms), and now CMA is reviewing the recommendations or feedback from insurance companies.
"The base for the proposed insurance law is in line with the draft regulation agreed by GCC countries. We have received comments from insurance companies and the public," Abdullah bin Salem bin Abdullah Al Salmi, executive vice-president of CMA, told Times of Oman.
Several details in the existing law have been shifted to the executive regulation, which will give more flexibility and will cover a wide range of areas of the insurance sector.
Sources at CMA said that the new draft law has to be circulated among Majlis A'Shura and other relevant government agencies, before submitting to the Cabinet for approval.
Insurance industry sources said that the authorities are looking at separate entities and minimum capital for life and non-life lines of businesses. A section of insurance firms suggested for enhancing capital over a period of time, rather than in one go. But the company is against the idea of separate capital for two lines of insurance business.
Unified GCC insurance
Meanwhile, media reports reaching here said that plans to have a unified insurance policy for automobiles in the GCC region are in the pipeline and if things go as planned, regional motor insurance schemes might be launched before the year-end.
A preliminary draft of the proposed policy has been framed, and approved by the Gulf Insurance Federation at its meeting in Dubai last month, said the report.
The draft has been circulated among major insurers in the region for suggestions so finishing touches could be given to the draft after incorporating the changes. The next meeting of the federation, an association of regional risk underwriters, is to be held in Doha and it is likely that the draft policy might be approved for implementation.
A key official of the federation told a UAE-based online newspaper, Alittihad, that a unified regional motor insurance policy could see the light of day before the end of the current year.
"The preliminary draft policy has been approved by the federation at their meeting in Dubai that was held in the middle of last month," Mohamed Mazhar Hamda, head of the technical committee of the Federation, told Alittihad. Once the policy is in place, one would not need to buy separate motor insurance covers if driving within the region. A single policy bought in any GCC state would suffice.
Currently, motorists driving from one GCC state to another need to buy third-party insurance cover. This is common in the case of Oman travelers, who frequently visit the UAE by road. People travelling to the UAE from Oman by road have to pay OMR20-30 extra for an extended annual UAE coverage, besides OMR2 for an Orange card issued by the Oman Orange Card Bureau. Orange card, which facilitates insurance claims by the local companies, is accepted by all GCC countries, except in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.