Speaking at an event on the island last week, Premier of Bermuda, the Hon. David Burt, JP, MP, explained that as well as being seen as the world’s risk capital he would like to see Bermuda take the title of the world’s insurtech capital as well.
Premier Burt was speaking at the PwC Insurance Summit held on November 1st, during which Bermuda’s activities in blockchain technology regulation, digital identity (or e-ID), its support for insurance technology (or insurtech) start-ups and the attractive environment for those looking to create technology for the reinsurance industry were all discussed.
Given Bermuda’s compact size and the wealth of leading insurance and reinsurance firms on the island, it offers an attractive environment for insurtech start-ups who want to work closely with industry to develop new ways to do insurance business using technology.
As a result, Bermuda has been working hard to attract start-ups to come and work with its re/insurance market participants and sees itself as a natural home for those who see the value of being located in such a hive of international re/insurance business.
“In five years I think that what you will see, and what I hope to see, is Bermuda being not only the world’s risk capital, but also the world’s insurtech capital,” Premier Burt explained.
Premier Burt went on to explain how the island has remained an important global hub for insurance and reinsurance business by working with the industry and its regulator.
He explained, “That’s why Bermuda has been so successful. Government does not make the decisions on the directions where we want to go. Government works with industry to understand what it is that’s needed in order to make sure that we can remain that center of innovation.”
In particular, efforts to attract insurtech start-ups and to ensure the Bermuda re/insurance market is technology-ready are underway, with the regulator the Bermuda Monetary Authority’s insurance regulatory sandbox and innovation hub both seen as key initiatives to attract insurtech business to the island.
The other area Bermuda has been quick to innovate is in distributed ledger technologies such as the blockchain, where its regulator has already established rules and the Government of Bermuda led by Burt has expressed its desire to be a leader in digital asset businesses.
Of course this blockchain regulatory activity is also likely to play into attracting insurtech start-ups as well, given the availability of a regulatory sandbox, alongside specific regulatory efforts related to blockchain and initial coin offerings, could provide the ideal platform for some technology companies looking to target re/insurance or broader areas of finance.