10 February 2016Actuarial & underwriting

Guernsey licenses 66 new international insurers in 2015

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission licensed 66 new international insurers over the course of 2015, including 13 limited companies, three PCCs, 43 PCC cells, four ICCs and three ICC cells.

Guernsey ended the year with a total of 804 international insurers licensed in Guernsey at the end of 2015, comprising 242 limited companies, 64 Protected Cell Companies (PCCs), 444 PCC cells, 13 Incorporated Cell Companies (ICCs) and 41 ICC cells, according to the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC).

This compares to a total of 797 international insurers being licensed by the GFSC at the end of December 2014, signifying a net growth of seven entities during the 12 months.

GFSC said this is the first time that the end-of-year figures from the GFSC have recorded the Island being above the 800 threshold.

Further data on the 66 licensed entities shows that their owners originate from a range of locations including the UK (44 percent), the Cayman Islands (24 percent) and Ireland (8 percent).

Dominic Wheatley, chief executive, Guernsey Finance, said: “Confirmation that Guernsey ended last year with more than 800 international insurers is a terrific endorsement of our standing and expertise across the insurance sector. The Island’s excellent reputation in the London market ensures that much of our business originates in the United Kingdom but insurers from all corners of the world are establishing in Guernsey.”

The range of business written over the 12 months to 31 December 2015 includes insurance linked securities (ILS) (38 percent), insurance lines covering property (14 percent),  after the event (ATE) legal expense (10 percent) and general liability insurance (7 percent).

“The diversity of insurers choosing to establish here is testament to the professional environment in Guernsey,” added Wheatley.

“The Island offers the latest and most sophisticated legislation, pragmatic regulation outside the Solvency II regime and a wealth of insurance management expertise; all of which are conducive to establishing an insurance business.”

In October 2015, Humbolt Re became Guernsey’s latest rated reinsurance vehicle. With an initial capital outlay of Sfr500 million ($513.3 million), Humboldt Re intends to build a portfolio of approximately Sfr140 million ($143.7 million) gross written premiums, with globally diversified reinsurance exposures focused on property catastrophe.

A month later the international credit rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, confirmed that Guernsey’s credit rating remains at its highest possible level, with an AA+ (Stable outlook) rating.