Gibraltar: Gibraltar: A Vibrant And Growing EU Insurance Domicile

Gibraltar has a vibrant and growing insurance industry, so let's start with a few facts:

  • Over the last 20 years Gibraltar's insurance industry has grown from just 12 licensed insurers to the present 56 licensed insurers currently writing new business.
  • Gross premium income written by all insurance companies in Gibraltar was £3.2bn in 2011 and these companies held assets of more than £7.5bn.
  • Gibraltar motor insurers currently write 10% of the total UK motor market.
  • Household names such as Brit Insurance, Intercontinental Hotels, Novartis, and Tate & Lyle have chosen Gibraltar as a domicile for their European Union (EU) captives.
  • In recent years Bermudian insurers Arch, Transatlantic Re and XL Insurance have established insurance companies in Gibraltar.
  • Gibraltar's EU membership provides passporting rights in insurance, insurance mediation and reinsurance across all 30 EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries.


Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory which is a self-governing and self-fi nancing parliamentary democracy within the EU, located at the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula. The territory covers 6.5 km. and has a land frontier with Spain. Gibraltar is a separate and distinct legal jurisdiction and its Parliament is solely responsible for the enactment of all domestic laws and for the transposition of EU directives.

Gibraltar has an extensive and diversifi ed servicebased economy. The principal contributors to Gibraltar's economic base are fi nancial services, maritime services, egaming and tourism. The economy is forecast to grow from £1.1bn to £1.65bn between 2011 and 2015 and the Government of Gibraltar has maintained a budget surplus throughout the recent economic slowdown that has a. ected much of the developed world. The Hon Gilbert Licudi QC, Minister responsible for Financial Services has identifi ed the insurance industry as one of the key areas of fi nancial services that the Government is keen to expand and promote over the next few years.

Insurance Industry

As mentioned previously, Gibraltar motor insurers currently write 10% of the total UK motor market and the number of motor insurers is expected to grow over the next few years.

Corporation tax is currently 10% and there is no tax for insurers on investment income. This attractive fi scal environment should o. er favourable opportunities to write more long tail business and makes Gibraltar an excellent location for run-o. business. In October 2012 an insurance licence was granted for a run-o. company set up to receive the transfer in of a legacy portfolio of an Irish company in administration.

Two of the three largest global insurance managers have operations in Gibraltar and there are also independent insurance managers with a signifi cant number of insurance companies under management. Three of the 'big four' audit fi rms have a presence in Gibraltar as do other leading accountancy fi rms and there are also independent local fi rms. Insurers' legal requirements are well served with a wide choice of well qualifi ed legal practitioners and 16 banks and building societies are currently authorised by the Financial Services Commission.

A bilingual workforce in English and Spanish, two of the most widely spoken languages in the world, is of great benefi t.


Of the 56 licensed insurers there are 14 captives writing general insurance business with total gross premium income of nearly £500m in 2011. Three of the captives are protected cell companies (PCCs) which collectively manage 32 cell companies. In addition, there are two PCCs writing life insurance business.

There is a market requirement for EU captives that can cede European risks where the parent is not licenced to write direct insurance in Europe or to access reinsurance markets. Gibraltar expects to build on its reputation as a gateway to Europe in the future.

Unlike certain captive domiciles, Gibraltar insurance companies write both direct and captive business. Therefore, the insurance community has the skills and connections to assist captive owners with the front end solutions required in writing direct third party business.

Captive owners are increasingly looking to maximise capital value and one way in which they can do so is to widen the use of their existing captives to write customer business subject to regulatory approval. In addition to providing an opportunity to write additional revenue, the ability to write direct third party owner business reduces the need for fronting arrangements. Thus leakage of income to the fronting company and the need for funds to be tied up with the fronting company's security requirements are both reduced. Importantly, in a world where responsiveness is a key business requirement the ability to make swift decisions to react to changing market conditions is paramount. The captive can quickly introduce changes to products and or rates without the need to go through a fronting company's compliance department.


Gibraltar was the first EU jurisdiction to protected cell companies legislation in 2001 in conjunction with passporting throughout the EU. As a result, Gibraltar PCCs are widely used within insurance company structures writing both general insurance and life insurance business. The innovative nature of the PCC has led to one insurance manager creating almost 50 cells and its PCC being the largest in the EU providing solutions for both cell captives and fronting cells.

The cost e.ciencies of using a cell captive as opposed to a stand-alone captive together with the uncertainties surrounding the implementation of Solvency II and its impact on EU domiciled captives are likely to ensure Gibraltar's existing PCCs continued to expand.

Insurance regulator

The Government of Gibraltar takes regulation and compliance very seriously, whether it is complying with all EU directive obligations or the highest standards of regulation in financial services.

Gibraltar has no overdue transpositions of EU directives; one of the very few EU jurisdictions in this position, despite Gibraltar's size and lesser resources compared to most other EU jurisdictions.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) is an independent statutory body corporate established by Gibraltar's Parliament. The FSC is responsible for the licensing and regulation of all financial services activity in Gibraltar.

The FSC undertakes to process insurance applications for authorisations in timeframes that are well below the statutory six month requirement. The service level standard for insurance companies is 18 weeks, providing the applicant makes a full submission of the application with all accompanying documents.

There is a general consensus that the FSC is an accessible regulator and that requests for changes to a licensed insurance company's business plan are reviewed in a timely manner. As one global consultancy firm remarked the regulator has a reputation of being business friendly and pragmatic whilst always robust.

As regulation becomes increasingly more onerous for insurance companies and the industry demands swifter decisions in an ever faster and competitive business environment the ability to be able to access an insurance regulator is a key factor in the choice of an insurance domicile.


The warm and sunny climate has undoubtedly played a part in attracting insurance professionals to Gibraltar and the opportunity to pursue outdoor sports such as sailing and golf are compelling. A new airport terminal opened in 2012 with daily flights to an increasing number of UK destinations and Malaga airport is only a short drive along the coast and serves numerous European cities.

In summary, Gibraltar's insurance expertise, speed to market and lifestyle make it an attractive insurance domicile and one that is expected to continue to grow and prosper.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions