Bermuda Monetary Authority Survey Shows Continued Growth

April 15, 2008

According to the latest available figures, released by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), the island’s “insurance market continues to maintain strong performance, against a backdrop of a soft global market.”

According to the BMA, “Bermuda’s insurers had aggregate total assets of $440.4 billion, which represents a 33 percent increase over the $329.9 billion achieved the previous year. The market also continued to enjoy strong results in terms of gross premiums written, which amounted to a total of $115.8 billion for the year, surpassing the $100.7 billion written the prior year.

“Of these amounts, captives accounted for $72 billion in total assets and almost $22 billion in gross premiums written. A total of 71 new insurance and reinsurance companies were established in the Bermuda market during 2007, compared to 82 in 2006.”

The BMA explained the decline as a result of the “generally softer market conditions globally, which saw a slowing of captive incorporations. In such conditions, companies typically are able to purchase reinsurance coverage at competitive rates in the traditional commercial markets.”

The report also noted that the “majority of the new Bermuda market entrants for 2007 were once again Class 3 insurers, a combination of captive and commercial companies.

“With respect to the commercial sector, 2007 saw the formation of two Class 4 companies [the highest category]. This reflected the general inactivity in the property and casualty market, and the relative lack of major catastrophic events during the year, resulting in the likely record profitability of existing insurers and a sufficiency of global capital in the property/casualty sector.”

Jeremy Cox, the BMA’s Deputy CEO, responsible for all supervisory activities, indicated that the Authority was “very pleased to see that the tradition of quality business coming to Bermuda was maintained with the companies that were successfully established here during the year.”

He added that the “high quality of the sponsors behind the companies, in addition to the continued increase in premium volume written that we have been recording over the years, indicates that market confidence in Bermuda as a leading center for international insurance and reinsurance remains strong. There is also a continued appreciation among those who participate in this market of Bermuda’s effective, practical regulatory environment.”

Cox also underlined the BMA’s continuing commitment to “place emphasis on enhancing its regulatory standards and operational capability during the year, to maintain effective regulation of Bermuda’s growing market.” He explained that the BMA had recently restructured its “supervisory teams, added an actuarial team, created a risk and policy team and set up a run-off team.”

Source: Bermuda Monetary Authority – www.bma.bm.

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