Bermuda’s world-leading captive insurance market can continue to improve and in the process be of mutual benefit to the business community and the island.
That was part of the message from David Burt as he gave the opening speech of the Bermuda Captive Conference at the Fairmont Southampton.
The Premier also stated the Bermuda Government’s intention to play its part in ensuring the island maintains it pre-eminent position as the domicile of choice for captive insurers.
“Bermuda has the most significant concentration of captive insurance to be found anywhere,” he said, noting the island is home to almost 800 captive insurance companies supporting many Fortune 500 companies, and generating $55 billion in annual gross written premiums.
“It is a market that has long been a symbol of global excellence to corporations around the world and which has provided captive services for half a century.”
Mr Burt, who is also Minister of Finance, mentioned the contribution the industry makes to the island in terms of employment, fee income for the Government and the Bermuda Monetary Authority, and the support it provides for local businesses.
“There is no doubt that the captive market is of compelling importance to Bermuda. It has been a sterling part of our reputation for five decades and provides future opportunities for continued growth and employment for Bermudians.
“The Government intends to continue to collaborate with regulators and the captive community to retain this important industry’s global stature so it may continue to bring significant benefits to Bermuda.”
With the impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the US dominating the news, Mr Burt broadened his opening remarks to delegates to include the island’s mainstream insurance and reinsurance companies and the role they will play in assisting the communities of Texas, Florida and elsewhere recover from the impact of the storms.
“It has been heart-wrenching to see the images of destruction. It is already projected that Bermuda’s reinsurers will make cash claim payments of at least $15 billion to their US clients in Texas and Florida from just these two hurricanes by year end,” he said.
“In the coming weeks and months Bermuda will demonstrate its enormous value in making US consumer markets more competitive, keeping prices low and speeding economic recovery.”
Mr Burt said insurance and reinsurance companies not only benefit financially from being based in Bermuda, but have created a structure that allows them to quickly assist in restoring the lives of those affected by natural disasters.
In closing, he praised the work of the Bermuda Monetary Authority.
“Strong and useful regulation is critical to today’s financial markets.”
The Premier expressed a commitment to continuing the collaborative approach that has served the island and the insurance sector. He said: “By working together with industry stakeholders, the Government believes the Bermuda market can go even further to serve the needs of the corporate world to all of our mutual benefits.”