18 April 2017Analysis

Strong start to 2017 for Cayman Islands insurance, claims IMAC

The Cayman Islands Insurance Industry has seen a buoyant start to 2017, with eight new Insurer licenses issued in the first quarter, according to the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman (IMAC).

IMAC said that these include 6 Class B licenses, half of which represent third-party Insurers, and two Class C licenses. Total premiums written for the sector stand at $14.6 billion per annum, with total assets held of $60 billion. This follows what IMAC described as an excellent year for new insurer licenses, with a total of 39 issued in 2016.

“This picture is enhanced by a number of additional license applications planned or underway,” said IMAC Chair, Linda Haddleton. “This is rewarding news for the jurisdiction, demonstrating the confidence of markets in the regulatory framework and the advanced infrastructure of the Cayman Islands.

“Captives have been main-stream for some time now as successful alternative risk financing instruments, and nothing demonstrates this more than the proliferation of jurisdictions now competing to host captives. Nevertheless the global population of captives, and captive programs in multi-owner and cell-type captives, continues to grow, as do the demands of newer industries and emerging risks, and of countries that have not previously understood or embraced the captive concept.”

According to Haddleton there remains much opportunity for a mature captive jurisdiction in both traditional and new markets, and the Cayman Islands offer a tried and tested, innovative environment in which to create alternative risk financing solutions, clearly continuing to attract new captives.

She also claimed out that insurance linked securities (ILS) may also be said to have become main-stream, but still primarily serve the natural catastrophic property risk market. The Cayman Islands has a long and successful history of hosting Class C ILS structures, and has much interest in seeing further innovation in this field and wider use of ILS. This represents another area of opportunity for new Cayman Islands licensed Insurers.

“There is no doubt that trade and commerce becomes more global every day, bringing many challenges but also opportunities,” Haddleton concluded. “The more broad your experience, the more innovative you tend to become. Exposure to wide-ranging financial structures allows for lateral thinking when it comes to innovative structuring and development of appropriate regulations. Given the range of well-established sectors in our financial services industry, the Cayman Islands is well positioned to facilitate global business of an insurance nature. This may represent the higher risk end of the spectrum for our industry, but this is where the priority to quality over quantity that is the hallmark of the Cayman Islands Insurance Industry will influence success.”

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