Industry cheers NAIC recognition, praises BMA
Bermuda’s global insurance market has praised the efforts of the Bermuda Monetary Authority and the strength of its regulatory regime in being granted reciprocal status by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
The new designation was introduced this year by the American insurance regulatory body.
Bermuda’s elevated status, effective January 1, makes it one of only three jurisdictions recognised as being on par with the US and means Bermuda-based re/insurers can operate in the market without additional capital requirements.
The Bermuda Business Development Agency said this puts the island on equal footing with its counterparts from the European Union and the United Kingdom and further adds to its renewed qualified jurisdiction status, a pre-requisite to achieving reciprocal status, also granted by the NAIC following its five-year re-evaluation.
Roland Andy Burrows, chief executive officer of the BDA, said the endorsement is a “significant win for Bermuda and testament to the hard work that takes place to ensure we remain at the forefront of the global re/insurance market”.
He added: “We thank the BMA for their efforts, as well as the NAIC and all our industry stakeholders, and look forward to a positive 2020.”
Given the significant role Bermuda’s re/insurers play in supporting the US economy, paying out more than $200 billion to settle US losses over the last two decades, American businesses and consumers also stand to benefit from greater efficiencies and access to Bermuda’s capital and expertise, the BDA said.
Stephen Weinstein, deputy chairman of the BDA, said: “We were very pleased to see Bermuda’s robust, fit-for-purpose regulatory regime accorded this important distinction from the NAIC, whose standards are respected worldwide. Insureds, intermediaries and communities across the US will only benefit from ensuring level playing field access to Bermuda’s capital and risk management expertise, and from further reducing the costs of exporting risk to the Bermuda market.
“The staff of the BMA deserve our appreciation both for their success in being one of three regulators worldwide to obtain this designation, and for their sustained efforts over the years to protect policyholders while adapting to changes in the industry and the underlying markets and communities we serve.”
John Huff, president of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, said: “Bermuda’s leading reinsurers have long been reliable partners in providing natural catastrophe and specialty reinsurance and a growing amount of cyber insurance protection for US consumers.
“The hard earned ‘reciprocal jurisdiction’ status demonstrates the quality of Bermuda’s world-class regulatory regime and gives Bermuda a competitive edge against other international markets.”
Ronnie Klein, senior adviser, Bermuda International Long Term Insurers and Reinsurers, said: “NAIC qualification is extremely important to Biltir member companies as much of our business is transacted in and with the US.
“We are proud to be considered in the same jurisdictional category as Japan and Switzerland and it shows that all of the hard work the BMA has done paid off. Biltir members will continue to partner with the BMA to make certain that Bermuda remains NAIC-qualified.”
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