Overseas brokers (non UAE licensed brokers): health insurance in Dubai
Brokers based in the UAE or those that actively sell and market health insurance in the Dubai must obtain authorisation from the DHA in the form of a Health Insurance Intermediary Permit (HIIP) pursuant to Article 6 of the law and the regulations.
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) promulgated Procedural Notice Number 5 of 2014 (PN 05/2014) (registration of health insurance intermediaries and their representatives); Standard Notice Number 2 of 2015 (minimum standards for training and competence for intermediaries); and General Circular Number 3 of 2015 (registration and regulation of health insurance intermediaries) (altogether defined hereinafter as the “regulations”), pursuant to Health Insurance Law No 11 of 2013 of the Emirate of Dubai (the “law”).
Brokers based in the UAE or those that actively sell and market health insurance in the Dubai must obtain authorisation from the DHA in the form of a Health Insurance Intermediary Permit (HIIP) pursuant to Article 6 of the law and the regulations. Brokers must also hold a Federal UAE licence and authorisation from the federal regulator, the Insurance Authority (IA).
What does this mean for overseas brokers (non UAE licenced brokers)?
The law states that only licensed brokers with an IA and DHA licence can sell and place the Essential Benefits Plan (EBP) and other medical insurance policies to residents in Dubai. Article 6 of law and the regulations prohibits any entity practising in health insurance in Dubai without a HIIP from the DHA. Article 6 reads as follows “it shall be prohibited for any natural or corporate person to practise any of the activities related to health insurance in the Emirate as specified by this law or by the resolutions issued pursuant thereto unless after obtaining a license as such by the authority.”
Overseas brokers (non UAE licenced brokers) with clients in Dubai
It is common for many overseas brokers to have members and clients in Dubai, either as part of a larger group scheme, arising from overseas arrangements, or in some cases, on an individual level, where the relationship was established overseas and not in the UAE.
Are overseas brokers (non UAE licenced brokers) permitted to service their clients despite not holding a HIIP and given their clients are based in Dubai?
As long as the overseas brokers make it clear that the client needs a licensed DHA product through a licensed insurer and does not market, offer for sale in or from the Emirates of Dubai any DHA compliant product, then such conduct would not breach the law and the Regulations.
If overseas brokers do not physically place products with local licensed primary insurers in Dubai or the UAE but deal with international insurance companies that distribute their products through local licensed primary insurers and overseas head offices, it will not, in our view, be in breach of the law and regulations.
However, an overseas broker must always make it clear to its clients that it is not authorised by the DHA and the IA to transact and place health insurance business in or from Dubai including taking commissions from local licensed primary insurers in the UAE.