The Beginnings of the Jordanian Insurance Sector – 1946
Insurance as an industry had no tangible presence in Jordan in the early 1940s, largely due to the limited geographical scope and the small population of under 400,000 people. However, it was during this period that the country started to witness an increase in traffic and trade activities across Jordan to the surrounding countries as a result of the pivotal role played by the Ottoman Bank in the economies of East Jordan back then. The Bank used to insure products, predominately imports, via the London-based Eagle Star Insurance company, where the Bank operated as a commission-based agent.
By the mid-1940s, insurance as an economic activity started to take shape. 1946 saw the launch of the first insurance agency in Jordan. Founded by Raouf Saad Abu Jaber in Amman and affiliated with an Egyptian insurance company Al Sharq agency focused on life insurance business because other types of insurance were not in high demand in Jordan.
Following the Kingdom’s economic development in the fifties and onwards, Jordan witnessed the emergence of professional insurance bodies, legislative and regulatory frameworks and the establishment of insurance companies.
Professional Bodies of Jordan’s Insurance Sector
Jordan Insurance Association – 1956
In 1956, a number of insurance pioneers initiated the establishment of the ‘Jordan Insurance Association for Insurance Companies’, as the first professional insurance body to meet the demands resulting from the Kingdom’s economic development. The preparatory committee for the Association met at the Orthodox Club in Amman (a club which is still active today) and elected a committee for the Association. The committee was Chaired by A.D Ledger (Agent - representing Arabia Insurance Co. in Jordan), Elias Habayeb (General Manager of Steele Insurance Agency representing British Royal) as Vice Chairman, and Raouf Abu Jaber (Agent of Egypt’s Orient Insurance Co.) as the Secretary of the Association. Moreover, another two members were later selected.
According to the bylaws of the Association, every insurance company or agency registered in Jordan is entitled to join this professional body. The Insurance Regulatory Act No.5 of 1965 included provisions to organize the Association’s activities.
Raouf Abu Jaber, Chairman of the Association at the time, addressed the official authorities and provided the Director of Social Affairs and Labor with the names of members of the Association, who represented 17 insurance companies and hail from different countries.
In 1971, based on the Association’s bylaws, Ahmed Abdelkhaliq worked tirelessly to have the Association become officially licensed under the Societies and Social Bodies Law No. (33) of 1966, amended by law No. (9) of 1971.
Board of Directors - Jordan Insurance Association 1956 – 1988
Five Board of Directors assumed responsibility of the Association and its operations since the first term began in 1956, until electing the fifth, and last, board in 1988, when the Jordan Insurance Federation was established.
First Board of Directors
1 January, 1980 – 31 December, 1983
Mr. Ahmed Abdelkhaleq, Chairman
Mr. Hamad Al-Farhan, Vice Chairman
Mr. Zaki Nawrasi, Secretary of the Board
Mr. Rajai Al-Sukkar, Treasurer
Mr. Ghaleb Abu Qoura, Member
Mr. Nazih Al-Abed Al-Hussein, Member
Mr. Sami Habibi, Member
Second Board of Directors
1 January, 1982 – 31 December, 1983
Dr. Raouf Saad Abu Jaber, Chairman
Mr. Ghaleb Abu Qoura, Vice Chariman
Mr. Ahmed Hussein Khalil, Secretary of Board
Mr. Rajai Al-Sukkar, Treasure
Mr. Omair Bodour, Member
Mr. Said Shoukri, Member
Mr. Ibrahim Al-Ayed, Member
Third Board of Directors
1 January, 1984 – 31 December, 1984
Dr. Raouf Saad Abu Jaber, Chairman
Mr. Ghaleb Abu Qoura, Vice Chairman
Mr. Nabil Akkawi, Secretary of Board
Mr. Rajai Al-Sukkar, Treasure
Mr. Dawoud Al-Kurd, Member
Mr. Wael Zurub, Member
Mr. Dawoud Hammou, Member
Fourth Board of Directors
1 January, 1985 – 31 December, 1986
Mr. Ibrahim Al-Ayed, Chairman
Mr. Nazih Al-Abd Al-Hussein, Vice Chairman
Mr. Nabil Akkawi, Secretary of the Board
Mr. Rajai Al-Sukkar, Treasurer
Mr. Dawoud Al-Kurd, Member
Mr. Ahmed Hussein, Member
Mr. Issam Saoud, Member
Fifth and Final Board of Directors:
1 January, 1987 – 31, December 1988
Mr. Ibrahim Al-Ayed, Chairman
Mr. Nazih Al-Abd Al-Hussein, Vice Chairman
Mr. Ahmed Hussein Khalil, Treasurer
Mr. Issam Saoud, Member
Mr. Moussa Hammou, Member
Mr. Hani Haddadin, Member
Mr. Omir Bodour, Member
(Source: Encyclopedia of Jordan: Jordan Economy, part III, published in 1989 by Dar Al-Karmel for Publishing & Distribution, Amman – Jordan)
Unified Insurance Office for Compulsory Motor Insurance – 1987
In 1987, the Insurance Supervision Directorate at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, issued instructions to establish the Unified Insurance Office (UIO) for Compulsory Motor Insurance, which commenced operations in April 1987.
The Office main objective was to organize the compulsory motor insurance operations under the supervision of the Federation on behalf of insurance companies – in accordance with the requirements of compulsory motor insurance system – and to ensure insurance companies’ commitment to paying claims for policyholders.
The Office worked under the supervision of Jordan Insurance Association, which handled the issuance of compulsory (third-party) motor insurance policies and their distribution to insurance companies. Eleven branch offices for the UIO were established to offer compulsory motor insurance services. Later, the Office moved to operate under the umbrella of Jordan Insurance Federation after it was established in 1989.
Regulation No. 29/1985 (Repealed)
Compulsory motor third party liability insurance was issued in accordance with the provisions of Article No. (5) of the Traffic Law No. (14) of 1984 and Article No. (53) of Insurance Supervision Act No.30 of 1984, enforced with effect from 12 July 1985. The regulation obliged all vehicles in the Kingdom to be insured, including non-Jordanian vehicles entering the country or in transit.
The Regulation stipulated the inclusion of bodily and material damages in third party’s compensations, while excluding the driver and passengers of the private or public vehicles in the instance that they are the cause of an accident. The regulation also determined, in accordance with the annexed tables, prices and limits of bodily and material liability of insurance companies.
As per Article (7) of the regulation, resolution No.2 of 1989 was issued, setting the price of compulsory motor insurance for private vehicles at JOD 25, public vehicles at JOD 33 and determining the deductible for both types of vehicles at JOD 33.
Compulsory Insurance Regulation No. 32 of 2001 (Repealed)
This regulation was issued in 2001 and published in the Official Gazette No. 4489 on 31 May 2002, replacing regulation No. 29 of 1985, in effect as of 3 April, 2002, in addition to the instructions of compulsory insurance premium rates and limits of liability according to the Regulation. This regulation introduced new concepts, addressed the gaps in the former system and extended the scope of insurance protection to include moral damages, death, bodily injury and material damage. It also identified the ‘third-party’ as any person other than the insured or the driver, harmed because of an accident resulting from using the vehicle.
Compulsory Insurance Regulation No. 12 of 2010
This regulation was issued to replace regulation No. 32 of 2001 and was published in the Official Gazette No. 5025 on 15 April, 2010. This regulation set new standards, the most important of which are as follows:
The inclusion of the driver and owner of the vehicle which causes an accident in the insurance coverage for humanitarian and social reasons. The new regulation identified the injured person as the one who suffers damages because of the accident, including the insured and driver of the vehicle which caused the accident.
A clause was added, stipulating that a claimant should not prosecute an insurance company for compensation before pursuing consensual resolution. Article (14/A) stated that the claimant shall consensually approach the insurance company to seek compensation for the damages he suffered and that he should enable the company to examine damages before litigating claims against the insurance company.
The new regulation confirmed the validity of insurance coverage for the vehicles which hold foreign registration, even if their terms expire, given that they pay the insurance premiums upon departing the Kingdom. Article 18/A states that any vehicle that holds a foreign registration is to be considered insured by default even if its insurance coverage has expired while they are still in the Jordanian territories, provided that the adequate insurance premium shall be collected upon the departure of such vehicle from Jordanian territories in accordance with rules determined by the instructions issued under this Regulation.
Article (7/A) of the repealed regulation was amended, where Article (17) of the new regulation allows the determination of the compulsory motor insurance premiums and any increase or reduction linked to the information related to accidents and traffic violations committed by the vehicle, the insured or the driver. This is to be conducted under instructions issued for this purpose.
Instructions of the Unified Insurance Office – 1987
(Repealed pursuant to article No.)
The instructions prohibited the reduction of compulsory motor insurance prices and obliged the Association to establish representative offices at the Licensing Departments.
In the same year, 1987, in the UIO instructions were amended and published in the Official Gazette No. 3465 on 16 March 1987. The 5 April 1987, to be the date of commencing operations at the Unified Insurance Office. One of the most important updates of the Instructions was the abolishment of Jordan Insurance Association and replacing it with Jordan Insurance Federation (JIF).
Instructions No. (1) of 2002; Instructions of the UIO
The instructions were issued by the Board of the Insurance Commission for supervising the insurance sector and based on the provisions of Article (20) of the compulsory insurance regulation No. (32) of 2001, addressing civil liability arising from the use of vehicles.
These instructions repealed the instructions of the UIO which were issued in 1984 as well as the amendments, and considered insurance companies members at the Office by default. The instructions also authorized the Office to issue compulsory motor insurance policies and the Orange Card (the unified insurance policy).
In 2004, and in accordance with the instructions, resolution No. (3) of 2004 was issued concerning the mechanism of issuing compulsory motor insurance policies. The resolution took effect as of 4 April, 2004 and states that operations shall be conducted through the Office, canceling the rotation system, thereby giving the citizen the right to select the insurer they deem suitable.
Instructions No. 3 of 2009; Instructions of the UIO
These instructions were issued by the Board of Directors of the Insurance Commission pursuant to Article No. 23 and clause (B) of Article No. 108 of the Insurance Regulatory Act of 1999 No. 33 and its amendments.
It repealed Instructions No. 1 of 2002 and obliged insurance companies to offer motor liability covers, in coordination with the Unified Insurance Office. The instructions also obliged the Office to inform the insurance client of their right to select the company they wish to contract with.
Instructions No. (5) of 2010; Instructions for Using Compulsory Motor Insurance
These instructions were issued by the Board of Directors of the Insurance Commission pursuant to Article No. (23) and item (B) of Article No. (108) of the Insurance Regulatory Act of 1999 No. (33) and its amendments.
Pursuant to these instructions, the Instructions No. (3) of 2009 of the Unified Insurance Office and ensuing decisions were repealed.
These Instructions were enacted on 3 March, 2010, giving the right to insurance companies to issue compulsory motor insurance documents, and their amendments through their branches, agents or the Unified Insurance Office.
Instructions No. (6) of 2011; Instructions of the UIO and their Amendments
Instructions No. (5) of 2010 and the decisions issued thereunder were repealed by virtue of these instructions.
These instructions were implemented on 16 April, 2011 and later amended on 2 October, 2011. They obliged insurance companies to issue compulsory insurance documents exclusively through the Unified Insurance Office, in accordance with the rotation mechanism on behalf of the insurance company. It also obliged the UIO to provide a database of traffic accidents for vehicles and make them available to insurance companies.
Jordan Insurance Federation – 1989
In 1989, the Jordan Insurance Federation (JIF) was established following a Royal Decree in accordance with Regulation No. 30 of 1989, ‘The Regulation of Jordan Insurance Federation’, issued under Article 41 of Insurance Regulation No. 30 of 1984.
The Federation is considered to be the successor of Jordan Insurance Association, which was established in 1956. In accordance with the Federation’s Articles of Association, Article (4A) stated the objectives of the Federation, including the upgrading and development of the insurance sector, and raising the standards of practice. They also emphasized on maintaining the validity of agreements and insurance pools which were conducted under the statutes of the Jordan Insurance Association.
Between 1989 and 2003, the Federation’s headquarters was located in Jabal Al-Hussein, Amman. In 1999, construction began on the permanent headquarters where the Federation later settled in 2003 in Shemisani, Amman. Today, JIF’s headquarters are said to be one of the prominent landmarks in the Capital Amman.
Jordan Insurance Brokers Association
Brokerage businesses in Jordan are organized under the umbrella of the Jordan Insurance Brokers Association, registered in 2005 in accordance with the Societies and Social Bodies Law No. (33) of 1966 and its amendments. The objectives of the Association include organizing and developing insurance brokerage activities, upgrading the standards of the profession by means adopted by the Association including analyzing the marketplace, preparing studies and development of cadres working in the profession.
Jordan Insurance Co.
Establishment of the branch of a foreign insurance company – American Life Insurance Co, presently MetLife Alico.
Middle East Insurance Co.
National Insurance Co.
The number of providers reached 33 insurance companies, branches and agencies, of which 23 were local insurers and the remaining were branches for foreign insurance companies.
United Insurance Co.
Arabian Seas Insurance Co. – presently Al-Manara Insurance Co.
Arabia Insurance Co. – presently Arabia Jordan Insurance Co.
Jerusalem Insurance Co.
Al Nisr Al Arabi Insurance Co.
Jordan French Insurance Co.
Delta Insurance Co.
End of 1980s:
The number of providers dropped to 18 insurance companies, of which 17 were local and one was foreign:
Global Insurance Co. – presently Jordan Emirates Insurance Co.
Holy Land Insurance Co.
Philadelphia Insurance Co.
Arab Life and Accident Insurance Co.
Arab Union International Insurance Co.
1990s – 2001
The number of insurers increased to 26 after the entrance of eight insurance companies. During that period, the market included 25 local insurance companies, one foreign insurer and another under incorporation:
The Arab Assurers Co.
Islamic Insurance Co.
Jordan International Insurance Co.
Amman Insurance Co., presently Euro Arab Insurance Group
Arab Jordan Insurance Group
Arab Orient Insurance Co.
By the end of 2000, the number of insurers increased to 27 and then dropped to 26 because of the liquidation one insurance company.
The number of insurance companies increased to 29 after the entrance of three new providers, including:
The Mediterranean & Gulf Insurance Co. Medgulf
Housing Mortgage Insurance Co (Darkom) – later exited the market due to changing nature of operations
First Insurance Co – then became Solidarity First Insurance Co.
By the end of 2008, the number of insurance companies dropped to 28 after the withdrawal of Housing Mortgage Insurance Co (Darkom) because of changing the nature of the business and shifting activities to finance and investments instead of insurance.
The number of insurance companies stabilized.
2012 – 2014
By the beginning of 2014, the number of insurance companies declined to 25 after the liquidation of three providers:
Gerasa Insurance Company
Al Baraka Takaful
Arab German Insurance Co.
The number of providers dropped further to 24 after the merger of First Insurance Co. with Yarmouk Insurance Co. and the launch of the new company under the name of Solidarity First Insurance Co.
Insurance Regulatory Act No. (33) of 1995
This Regulation was issued on the basis of the provisions of the Insurance Supervision Act No. 30 of 1984, published in the Official Gazette No. 4072 on 1 October, 1995.
The new regulation set JOD 2 million as the minimum capital requirement for existing national and foreign insurance companies. The minimum capital requirement for new foreign insurance companies, which are licensed afterward, shall be JOD 4 million. As for the Jordanian reinsurance companies, the minimum capital requirement is JOD 20 million.
Insurance Regulatory bodies
Insurance Business Regulatory Directorate
In the 1960s, the Ministry of National Economy (before becoming the Ministry of Industry and Trade) has founded an administrative unit called “Insurance Business Regulatory Directorate”, headed by the Insurance Regulator who would be in charge of organizing and monitoring insurance activities and services provided by all entities engaged in insurance business, in accordance with the stipulations of Insurance Regulation Act No. (5) of 1965. The Directorate is as well tasked with implementing the provisions of the regulation which are related to establishing, licensing, and record keeping for all national (and foreign) insurance companies operating in the Jordan insurance market and the ancillary service providers, including brokers and agents.
The Directorate remained active until 1993 upon setting up the Insurance Commission as an independent regulatory body in accordance with the Insurance Regulatory Act No. (33).
Development of Insurance Regulations
At the beginning of 1965, the diversity of functions and the great role the insurance industry plays in terms of its institutions and the importance of setting regulation and standards to their performance prompted the Jordanian government to issue a set of legislations that regulate and control all of the insurance sector’s components. These legislations have been characterized as being flexible by taking into account the variables and updates in the insurance market and the need to issue, amend or repeal the existing legislations.
Insurance Regulatory Act No. 5 of 1965
Published in the Official Gazette No. 1826 on 1 March, 1965.
Repealed in accordance with Article (62) of the Insurance Supervision Regulation and its amendments No. 30 of 1984.
This was considered the first dedicated legislation and regulation for controlling insurance business in Jordan. By virtue of this regulation, the Directorate for monitoring insurance business was established under of the Ministry of National Economy (at the time) and under the supervision of the ‘Insurance Regulator’.
The regulation encompassed five chapters, which included activities of insurance entities, the professionals offering insurance services, beneficiaries, in addition to the definition of insurance types offered in the market.
The regulation stipulated that the paid-up capital must not be less than JOD 100,000 for local Jordanian insurance companies and JOD 250,000 for foreign companies.
The regulation required companies to provide a deposit (cash or equivalent securities) of JOD 20,000 for life insurers and JOD 10,000 for each other line of business.
Article (43) of the regulation provided three specific items for the Jordan Insurance Association, namely obliging each Board of Directors to keep a record of the minutes of their meetings, provide it to the Insurance Regulator and to dismiss from its membership abolished companies.
Insurance Regulatory Act No. 7 of 1984
Published in the Official Gazette No. 3200 on 8 January, 1984. It was repealed shortly after being activated to be replaced by the Insurance Regulatory Act and its amendments No. 30 of 1984.
The new Act set the amount of JOD 1 million as the minimum capital requirement for establishing a national insurance company. It also included provisions that obliged Jordanian and foreign insurance companies to provide a deposit according to the type of insurance they write.
Article 41 stated two items stipulating that every insurance association, established in accordance with Jordan’s Law of Societies and composed of members licensed to practice insurance, is required to keep a record of its minutes of meetings and provide them to the insurance regulator. The other item considered the Association a representative to its member companies.
Insurance Act No. 30 of 1984 and its Amendments
This was the first regulatory Act in Jordan dedicated to insurance, known as Insurance Practice Monitoring Act, published in the Official Gazette No. 3280 on 16 December, 1984. This Act stipulated a special license to practice insurance and covered all insurance operations including, the offering of the insurance contract, the contracts themselves, their amendments or alteration, in addition to claims handling and settlement, including assessment or valuation of the claim. The Act has also specified the types of insurance, which are permitted as follows: Life, fire and related risks, transport, accidents, savings and investment insurances and all other types of insurance.
On 1 September, 1987, the Act was amended by virtue of Law No. 24 of 1987.
Transport insurance is deemed one of the most important insurance activities in Jordan because of the active transit movement and diversity of nationalities of vehicles crossing Jordan over to the neighboring Arab countries.
The regulation imposed a minimum capital requirement for any company applying for a license to practice insurance in Jordan, whether for national companies or foreign companies which are interested in opening a branch or assigning an agent in the Kingdom. It also required a fixed deposit, part of it in cash and the remaining in the form of shares or corporate bonds in public listed companies or bonds issued by the Jordanian government or one of the public sector entities.
This insurance Act also regulated the operations and licensing requirements of insurance agents, brokers and consultants. It adopted the necessary registers and documents necessary to control the information and data related to all insurance companies, agents and brokers. Furthermore, the regulation organized the operations of the Association of insurance companies, identified provisions and terms of the merger of insurance companies and the legal consequences of the merger. One of the most important provisions included in this regulatory Act was that it prohibited insuring movable or immovable property which is not located in Jordan, and banned insuring abroad on movable property which exists in or is transferred to Jordan.
Insurance Practice Monitoring Act No. 30 of 1984
Published in the Official Gazette No. 3280 on 16 December, 1984, repealed Act No. 5 of 1965.
The provisions of this regulatory Act have been applied to national and foreign insurance companies and provided a special chapter on the lines of insurance. It stated a minimum capital requirement of JOD 600,000 for Jordanian insurance companies and that the capital of foreign insurance companies must not be less than the total value of their deposits which amount to JOD 150,000 for insurers offering life, saving and investment products, and JOD 100,000 for each other line of insurance practiced. The regulation also required Jordan insurance companies to provide a guarantee deposit of JOD 100,000 for companies that offer life, saving and investment covers, and JOD 75,000 for each other line of insurance offered.
Article 41 stipulated the establishment of a professional body composed of insurance companies called Jordan Insurance Federation with membership being obligatory. The Federation shall enjoy an independent status and is the legal representative of insurance companies before official departments and other authorities concerning general insurance matters in the range of the Federation’s law, which stated objectives and functions of the Federation to organize the insurance business.
Amended Insurance Regulatory Act No. 24 of 1987
Published in the Official Gazette No. 3496 on 1 September, 1987.
This regulation amended a number of the provisions included in the Regulatory Act No. 30 of 1984 by adding a section to Article 6 requiring insurance companies with paid-up capital of less than JOD 600,000 to reconcile by merger with one or more Jordanian or foreign, insurance companies – otherwise, the law allowed the company resulting from merger to increase its capital in accordance with the Companies’ Law.
Another item was added to Article 23, stating that companies writing more than one insurance line should achieve gross premiums equivalent to five-fold of the total of their legal deposits. In the case of a foreign company, gross premiums should be not less than six times the deposit.
Insurance Practice Monitoring Act No. 5 of 1965
Insurance Practice Monitoring Act No. 7 of 1984
Insurance Practice Monitoring Act No. 30 of 1984
Insurance Practice Monitoring Act No. 24 of 1987
Insurance Practice Monitoring Act No. 9 of 1995
Insurance Regulatory Act No. 33 of 1999 (presented to GAIF, page 15)
Temporary Act No. 67 of 2002, amending the Insurance Regulatory Act (page 15 and 16)
Law No. 17 of 2014, the Restructuring of Institutions and Government Departments
The amendment included the provisions of Article 56 where it banned the licensing of new insurance companies except by a decision of the Council of Ministers, provided that the total gross written premiums in the Kingdom for all insurance providers in the last financial year, should equal four times the total paid up capital of the companies in addition to the capital of any new operator to be licensed.
Amended Insurance Practice Monitoring Act No. 9 of 1995
Published in the Official Gazette No. 4030 on 16 March, 1995.
This regulation amended a number of articles included in Act No. 30 of 1984 concerning Articles 6 and 7. The amendment specified the minimum capital requirements for national and foreign insurance companies, in addition to the value of the required legal deposit.
Article 56 was amended as well, where licensing new insurance companies is to be decided by the Council of Ministers in accordance with a special regulation issued for this purpose.
The Insurance Commission – 1999
By the end of 1999, the Insurance Commission (IC) was established as a public institution with the aim of protecting policyholders’ rights and developing insurance services in the Kingdom. The IC was founded in accordance with Insurance Regulatory Act No. (33) of 1999, which sets the regulations and supervision foundations for providing a suitable environment to develop and enhance the sector’s role as an economic facility. The IC replaced the Insurance Directorate, which was established in 1965 under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
As part of its functions, the IC adopted annual strategies, plans and programs, which are based on two pillars. The first pillar focuses on laying down the legal, technical and financial frameworks to regulate the insurance sector. The second pillar concentrates on the necessary techniques and means needed to develop the quality of the sector’s institutions, in line with modern international insurance standards.
The IC continued to carry out its tasks for 14 years until being scrapped in 2014, when the Insurance Administration at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply was created in its place.
Insurance Regulatory Act No. 33 of 1999
This regulation was enacted as part of a larger economic reform the Kingdom adopted in order to restructure the various economic sectors and readjust them in accordance with the necessary requirements of accession to the World Trade Organization and the European Partnership Agreement, which includes Jordan. The regulation provided advanced regulatory and supervisory concepts and tools that cope with the international developments and have not been addressed by the previous regulations, the most important of which are as follows:
The establishment of an independent body called the ‘Insurance Regulatory Commission’ (the name of the Commission has been changed pursuant to the amended law) to supervise, regulate and control the insurance sector.
The Board of the Insurance Commission was formed under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Industry, Trade with the membership of the Director-General and five Jordanians experienced in the financial and economic sectors, especially insurance. Two of the five members shall be from the public sector and three from the private sector with Jordan Insurance Federation naming one of them from outside the insurance sector.
Dividing insurance businesses into two main branches of life and general insurance and separation of operations between them. Companies licensed following the issuance of this Act shall be specialized in one branch only.
Adopting the solvency margin standard rather than requiring financial deposits in the name of the Minister of Industry and Trade.
Standardizing the commencement and end dates of the financial year for all insurance companies.
Issuing the provisional regulation No. 67 of 2002, amending the Insurance Regulatory Act.
The most important amendments included:
Replacing the title of the original Act and replacing it with Act No. 33 of 1999 ‘Insurance Regulatory Act’.
The amended regulation addressed anti-money laundering in insurance operations, where it defined the concept of money laundering in the insurance activities and the Commission was granted the authority to ban any individual or party, subject to the provisions of this regulation, from implementing insurance activities arising from money laundering. The Commission stated items clarifying the punishments imposed in the event of committing any relevant activities and considered them penal provisions, in addition to imprisonment or a fine ranging between JOD 100,000 and JOD 5 million, besides the confiscation of such funds.
The regulation approved the establishment of a fund to compensate those harmed by accidents caused by vehicles, which have not been stated in the provisions of compulsory third party motor insurance. The Fund shall compensate victims of accidents if the vehicle is uninsured or in the case of an accident committed by an unknown party, or in the event of insolvency of an insurance company and its inability to fulfill its obligations.
The amended regulation provided provisions to implement alternative solutions in insurance disputes including mediation, arbitration and other related provisions and procedures along with the ensuing fees. The Commission arranges for a special register that includes names of accredited insurance mediators and arbitrators.
The amendments included provisions for liquidation, where the board of the Commission has the authority to decide the liquidation of any insurance company in the event of materializing any of the cases stated by the law. Thereby, the Board is the only body with the authority to decide the liquidation of an insurance company.
The amendments dealt with the restructuring of insurance companies, a new concept that the previous regulations have addressed. It includes restructuring the company’s management, organizing its financial troubles by negotiating with creditors to identify the size of the company’s debts and schedule payments. The law authorized the Board of the Commission to restructure any insurance company in the event of facing any of the cases the law has stated, where the Board of the insurance company would be dissolved and a neutral committee, composed of experienced and competent individuals, shall be formed to restructure the company.
The amended regulation tackled the basis for looking into the complaints submitted against insurance services and settling them, in addition to introducing a specific mechanism to limit recourse to courts of law in order to save efforts and resources.
The amended regulation excluded obliging the insurance of Royal Jordanian airlines and Jordanian aircraft from being insured within the Kingdom.
By virtue of the amended regulation, foreign insurers are no longer required to retain in a deposit of no less than the minimum capital requirement for the national insurance company the Kingdom.
In 2008, the Insurance Commission introduced an amended draft law to the Insurance Regulatory Act, which later was merged with the draft law of the insurance contract in one bill called ‘The Insurance Law’, which is still under discussion and issuance.
Law No. (17) of 2014, the Restructuring of Government Institutions and Departments
It was published in the Official Gazette No. 5283 on 30, April 2014.
Section ‘D’ of Article 2 stated the dissolution of the Insurance Commission, amending its name to become the Insurance Administration and transferring its status to become under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply. Thereafter, the Ministry is responsible for its operations and is considered the legal and factual successor.
In October 2017, the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) introduced a draft amendment to the law, which will be discussed with the insurance sector and is expected to be issued after passing through the constitutional and legislative channels in the first half of 2018.