Efforts are continuing in the local insurance sector to increase the Emiratisation rate that currently stands at less than 15% due to several reasons including less attractive remuneration offered in the insurance sector compared to the government sector and lack of competence and experience among locals.
According to official statistics, the total number of employees of insurance companies of various nationalities was about 9,640 employees at the end of last year. Of this, the number of nationals was 1,316 citizens, or 13.6%. In the technical departments of insurers, there were a total of 5,650 employees of all nationalities at the end of 2018, of whom 702 were nationals, constituting 12.4%.
Industry executives called for measures to push up Emiratisation rates, especially a review of salaries and the provision of training to prepare young citizens for the technical, financial, legal and administrative aspects of the insurance sector.
Mr Fareed Lutfi, secretary general of the Emirates Insurance Association, said raising the localisation rate in the insurance sector requires the combined efforts of all stakeholders, including the Insurance Authority and insurers.
In January last year, the UAE government launched a points system to promote Emiratisation in the insurance industry. The scheme assigns point targets to institutions based on their revenues. Insurers with bigger GWP have higher Emiratisation targets to meet. They also gain points for investing in the training of UAE nationals and developing their skill sets. This is to help locals move up the career ladder to senior management roles in the insurance sector.
The system grants more weight to more important positions in an insurer. For example, an insurer scores five points if it creates a managerial position for a UAE national, whereas a non-managerial post fetches one point. In addition, if an insurer fails to achieve a stipulated Emiratisation target, a financial penalty will be levied. M