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Changes keep us at ‘forefront’ of insurance

Minister of Finance Bob Richards

Amendments to the Insurance Act that aim to keep the island “at the forefront of our most vital industry” were passed in the House of Assembly on Friday.

Minister of Finance Bob Richards outlined several technical changes to the Act mostly pertaining to enhancing the island’s supervisory oversight of registered insurance managers as well as new requirements aimed at anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing as well as technical changes to the insurance regime.

Mr Richards said: “To keep Bermuda at the forefront globally it is necessary that a review of Bermuda’s insurance legislation is ongoing.

“Additionally, as international regulatory and supervisory standards evolve and become entrenched in best practices, the Bermuda Monetary Authority is required to continually assess its current framework and make adjustments where needed.

“This continues to be our effort to continue to have Bermuda at the forefront of our most vital industry — the industry that presents income, jobs and opportunity for Bermudians.

“Presently insurance managers are required to be registered with the BMA and there is a general oversight by that body. However, additional provisions of the Insurance Act will be extended to apply to insurance managers specifically those regarding prudential standards and the filing of financial returns.

“Insurance managers will be obliged to report on changes to shareholder controllers and officers of the insurance manager and must maintain sufficient insurance coverage for its business in line with the minimum criteria imposed on insurers.

“In addition to these proposed changes the authority has consulted with the industry on a new code of conduct for insurance managers which is intended to be brought in to force by this year end.”

With regards to efforts to limit money-laundering, the authority has enhanced its oversight by requiring every insurer to complete questions set out in a new schedule of anti-money laundering, anti-terrorist financing in relation to long term business.

This information will be used to assist the authority to assess the money-laundering risks and use its resources to address such risks accordingly.