11 June 2015Actuarial & underwriting

Latin American nuances define captive possibilities

The Latin American insurance market has many nuances and the unique regulations and requirements of each country must be understood if opportunities around captives in the region are to be realised.

This is the opinion of Maria Escobar, head of LatAm captives solutions at Marsh Captive Solutions, at the Bermuda Captive Conference held in Bermuda this week (Monday June 8 to Wednesday June 10).

She said there are a growing number of companies in Latin America considering the use of captives. Escobar explained that companies usually end up considering it as a solution when they get to a certain size and require a certain level of sophistication in their risk-management and insurance programme.

“As they gain a better understanding of their risks, they will often consider this as a solution,” she said.

But she stressed that the regulations around insurance and reinsurance vary dramatically in different countries, thus affecting the type of solution that is possible and how a captive may be used.

“Some markets are very traditional and conservative and it is more difficult to use captives in these,” she said. “Others are more sophisticated and on the whole these are easier to use a captive solution from.”

Escobar added that companies in Latin America were exploring other domiciles for captives including Singapore and Dublin but said that Bermuda remained the top choice for most.

Eduardo Fox, senior manager, Appleby, added that Bermuda remains one of the most respected financial jurisdictions in the world and when that is added to its deep links in the reinsurance sector and other attributes, it retains a compelling case as the captive jurisdiction of choice.