Bermuda remains centre of excellence, claims BDA


Bermuda’s insurance industry saw a year-on-year increase in company registrations across multiple sectors according to the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA).

The BDA said that the Island registered a total of 58 new insurers in 2017, ranging from captives and long-term re/insurers to special purpose insurers (SPIs)—compared to 42 last year, according to Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) statistics released in February. Risk sector companies were responsible for at least 61 corresponding new jobs, including 20 in the long-term (life and annuity) sector.

“The BMA figures reaffirm Bermuda’s status as the ‘world’s risk capital’ and also underscore the breadth of our risk-solutions market, as well as the innovation and expertise that distinguish the island as a centre of excellence across each risk sector,” said BDA chief executive officer Ross Webber. “Most importantly, this trend, encouraged by our business-development efforts, is creating much-needed jobs that help fuel economic growth.”

According to the BDA, in 2017 Bermuda held its number-one position atop captive insurance domiciles, based on total licensed captives, despite challenging market conditions globally, including mergers and acquisitions activity and consolidations. Some 739 active captive licences were on the BMA register at year-end, including 17 new entities—compared to 13 in 2016—and Bermuda captives wrote $54.7 billion in net premiums.

“We’re delighted to see an overall increase of 38 percent in licensed insurance carriers in Bermuda last year,” said Grainne Richmond, president, Bermuda Insurance Management Association (BIMA). “Of the 58 new licences issued, 17 are in the limited purpose/captive space.

“We’re not surprised by the continued confidence stakeholders place in the overall Bermuda insurance product, and we’re particularly pleased to see the increase in captive registrations. This continued growth highlights how important Bermuda’s captive offering is in the global arena where our experience, pragmatic regulation, professionalism and integrity continue to set Bermuda apart from competing jurisdictions.”

Bermuda also saw growth in the life sector in 2017, with six long-term insurance companies licensed by the BMA. That compared with three 2016 registrations. With incorporations of companies such as Monument Re, Athora Life Re, Allianz Re Bermuda Life, Langhorne Re, and Private Bankers Life & Annuity Co, the sector generated at least 20 new jobs in Bermuda.

Bermuda also dominated the global insurance-linked securities (ILS) market, issuing 24 SPI licences—seven more than the previous year—with reinsurance covers consisting primarily of cat bonds, collateralised reinsurance and sidecars. The Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) was the listing venue of choice for ILS vehicles, claimed Greg Wojciechowski, BSX president and chief executive officer, and ILS Bermuda Chair. “New ILS listings on the BSX totalled 103 securities for the year, with a nominal value of $11.54 billion,” he said. “This represents annual growth of 69 percent in the number of new securities listed, and 87-percent growth in the nominal value.”

At year end, the total number of BSX-listed ILS securities stood at 227, valued at $25.99 billion. “Bermuda’s global market share reached record levels of approximately 84 percent, cementing Bermuda’s continued position as leader in this innovative asset class,” Wojciechowski said. “The devastating natural catastrophe events in 2017 demonstrated Bermuda’s resilience, tried-and-tested infrastructure, as well as expertise in the property and casualty space.”

Bermuda, insurance industry, BDA, BSX, BMA, increase, captives, growth

Bermuda Re