Bermuda’s re/insurance industry has shown significant growth over the last year, with companies continuing to register across sectors and contribute to the growth of the island’s job market.
The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) released statistics this month showing a 38% increase in the number of new insurers registered in the region, with 58 recorded over 2017, compared to just 42 the year before.
The Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) noted that 61 corresponding jobs were created by risk sector companies, with 20 of those in the burgeoning long-term (life and annuity) sector.
Ross Webber, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the BDA, said: “The BMA figures reaffirm Bermuda’s status as the ‘world’s risk capital’ and also underscore the breadth of our risk-solutions market, as well as the innovation and expertise that distinguish the island as a centre of excellence across each risk sector.
“Most importantly, this trend, encouraged by our business-development efforts, is creating much-needed jobs that help fuel economic growth.”
Bermuda’s 2017 growth saw particularly impressive gains in the life sector, as the BMA licensed six new long-term companies, twice as many as in 2016.
At least 20 new jobs were generated thanks to the incorporation of companies like Monument Re, Athora Life Re, Allianz Re Bermuda Life, Langhorne Re, and Private Bankers Life & Annuity Co.
Sylvia Oliveira, Board Director of Bermuda International Long Term Insurers and Reinsurers (BILTIR), said: “Life reinsurance continues to expand as part of the Bermuda international business sector. Long-term re/insurers provide significant diversification for the Bermuda economy since we are affected by a different set of drivers than property and casualty re/insurers.
“Our markets keep expanding as aging populations seek to protect assets during retirement and for their heirs. We are confident the BMA’s sophisticated regulatory environment continues to attract life reinsurers to domicile in Bermuda.”
2017’s growth activity has also helped Bermuda retain its position as the leading captive insurance domicile, despite challenging global market conditions that included merger and acquisitions activity and consolidations.
The BMA registered 739 active captive licences by the end of 2017, including 17 new entities, and Bermuda captives wrote $54.7 billion in net premiums.
“We’re not surprised by the continued confidence stakeholders place in the overall Bermuda insurance product, and we’re particularly pleased to see the increase in captive registrations,” said Grainne Richmond, President of Bermuda Insurance Management Association (BIMA).
She added. “This continued growth highlights how important Bermuda’s captive offering is in the global arena where our experience, pragmatic regulation, professionalism and integrity continue to set Bermuda apart from competing jurisdictions.”
The statistics also showed a 41% growth in the number of SPI licences issued, with 24 recorded over the year. This growth has ensured that Bermuda continues to dominate the global insurance linked securities (ILS) market.
Greg Wojciechowski, President and CEO of the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX), noted that the BSX was the preferred listing venue for ILS vehicles over the year, adding: “New ILS listings on the BSX totalled 103 securities for the year, with a nominal value of $11.54 billion. This represents annual growth of 69 percent in the number of new securities listed, and 87-percent growth in the nominal value.”
The BSX now boasts a total of 227 listed ILS securities, with a value of $25.99 billion. Wojciechowski said: “Bermuda’s global market share reached record levels of approximately 84 percent, cementing Bermuda’s continued position as leader in this innovative asset class.
“The devastating natural catastrophe events in 2017 demonstrated Bermuda’s resilience, tried-and-tested infrastructure, as well as expertise in the property and casualty space.”
Bermuda also saw the formation of Premia Re in 2017, a new Class 4 commercial reinsurer and property and casualty (P&C) reinsurance run-off group.
Jereme Ramsay, Business Development Manager of BDA, commented on the year’s results, saying: “So far this year, insurance registrations are already off to a solid start, with four new formations, including a captive, an SPI, a life company and small commercial insurer.
“2017 was a strong year, and the first quarter of 2018 appears to be following suit. We’re optimistic for what’s to come.”