Abir highlights island insurers’ EU impact

  • European impact: John Huff, CEO of Abir

    European impact: John Huff, CEO of Abir


Member companies of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers employ nearly 16,000 people in Europe and operate in 20 EU member states.

The information is highlighted in a release from Abir, based on its annual economic impact survey.

The survey found that Abir re/insurers had 15,865 employees in the European region. The top five jurisdictions with the most employees were the UK, with 9,762; France, with 1,148; Ireland, with 1,123; Germany, with 814; and Poland, with 453. Additionally, in Switzerland Abir companies employ 1,011 people.

“The European Union is a very important market for Bermuda re/insurers, and our members continue to take on increasing amounts of risk in EU member states,” John Huff, chief executive officer of Abir, said.

“Our member companies remain strongly committed to the European market, European ceding companies, and European policyholders.”

Bermuda’s regulation regime for commercial insurers was found “equivalent” by the EU to Solvency II in March 2016, one of just two non-EU jurisdictions to hold that distinction.

Through equivalence, Bermuda’s commercial reinsurers and insurance groups have access to the EU market, and Bermuda’s financial regulator, the Bermuda Monetary Authority BMA, is recognised as group supervisor for its insurance groups that operate in the EU.

BMA supervisors are internationally respected and regularly hold supervisory colleges with international peers, including those from EU member states and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (Eiopa).

In 2017, the BMA attended seven colleges of EU groups, with EU member state supervisory participation on 17 of 20 supervisory colleges of Bermuda-based groups. More than 90 per cent of Bermudian-based insurance groups regulated by the BMA have an EU presence.

BMA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Eiopa in January 2017, and participates in annual Eiopa bi-laterals. To stay ahead of regulatory developments, it also participates on many International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) committees, including holding co vice-chair positions on the IAIS Policy Development Committee and Macroprudential Committee.

A study released by the BMA late last year reported Bermuda re/insurers paid a total of $72.8 billion to EU policyholders and cedents over the past two decades. Of this amount, $36.8 billion was paid to UK policyholders, while $56.3 billion was paid to EU policyholders in the last ten years alone.

“As Abir marks 25 years of innovation and leadership, we are working to expand the Bermuda market’s successful, international leadership with continued optimism for growth in key jurisdictions, including the European Union,” said Kevin O’Donnell, CEO of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd and current chairman of Abir.

“We are proud to provide this vital partnership of preparation and resilience for European communities and by doing so, helping individual consumers and regional economies to recover from catastrophes, and go on to rebuild and prosper.

“As risks continue to accelerate as a result of factors including economic expansion, technological innovation and climate change, level-playing field access to Bermuda’s capital and expertise will benefit European policyholders, insurers and taxpayers.”

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Published Sep 5, 2018 at 3:38 pm (Updated Sep 5, 2018 at 3:38 pm)

Abir highlights island insurers’ EU impact

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