3 August 2021Actuarial & underwriting

Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association calls for help promoting captives in Ireland

The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) has invited expressions of interest from underwriters, insurance brokers and allied professionals as it looks to enhance Ireland as a domicile for captive insurance companies.

ISME said it intends to “greatly increase the penetration of non-life captive insurance in the domestic market, not just to reduce cost, but to counter the flight of underwriters from this market.”

It called on insurance professionals to get in touch if they can assist with setting up sectoral captive insurance companies, or provide general group insurance schemes as part of its Advantage Affinity Program.

“Since ISME already offers group insurance schemes, respondents are encouraged to express interest in the captive insurance section,” it said.

ISME cited a recent survey of its membership in which 88 percent of respondents said they would consider participating in a captive insurer.

ISME, which has been actively lobbying for the interests of SMEs since 1993, emphasised the importance of insurance for Irish SME owners. “Given the systemic importance of insurance, the fact that most SMEs cannot trade without it, and the fact that underwriters are exiting certain business sectors in Ireland, ISME intends to offer a wider set of insurance solutions to the SME sector,” it explained.

“Respondents must undertake to discount insurance services to ISME members,” it added.

In 2017 the Central Bank of Ireland reported there were 78 captive re/insurance companies domiciled in Ireland. For 2018, total assets stood at €6.5 billion, while gross written premiums for non-life business was €900 million and gross written premiums for life was €23 million.

It called on captive insurers to outline how they would ensure compliance with the Central Bank of Ireland’s Corporate Governance Code for Captive Insurance and Captive Reinsurance, and the operational guidance requirements applicable to captive insurance undertakings.

Sluamor, an ISME member, will coordinate the process of sourcing providers for these services. Once this process has been completed a tender will be issued to shortlisted candidates.

While ISME stressed that its membership is multi-sectoral, it said it was particularly interested in promoting captive formations in a number of specific sectors where captives can be readily formed. These included: accounting; legal services; equine services; engineering services; childcare services; financial services; food and beverage manufacturing; IT and services; logistics, warehousing and distribution; pharmaceutical manufacture and supply; nursing homes; office equipment and supply; security services; and medical practitioners.