The number of insurance licences issued in Guernsey last year was almost 25% more than during 2008.
Figures from the Island's financial services regulator, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC), show that there were 46 insurance licenses issued during 2009, compared to 37 new entries to the market in the preceding twelve months.
"It is very positive that we are attracting increasing amounts of new insurance business to the Island and thereby retaining our position as the leading captive insurance domicile in Europe and number four in the world," said Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island's finance industry.
"What we are seeing is that business introducers are continuing to recognise Guernsey as a captive domicile offering real quality in terms of service providers and professional advisers, robust yet pragmatic regulation and high standards of corporate governance."
The GFSC statistics show that Guernsey now plays host to a total of 678 international insurance entities. This comprises 355 international insurers – made up of 281 traditional captives, 63 Protected Cell Companies (PCCs), 5 Incorporated Cell Companies (ICCs) and 6 ICC cells. There are also 323 PCC cells, split between 250 conventional PCC cells and 73 PCC cells writing life insurance.
The Island's insurance sector has seen the value of business increase markedly over the last five years. In 2003 the industry had gross assets of £13bn, a net worth of £5.3bn and premiums of £2.5bn. Now there are gross assets of £21bn, a net worth of £7.1bn and premium written of £3.3bn.
Mr Niven added: "While last year did see growth in new business coming to the Island unfortunately we also had some licenses surrendered – in particular a number of cells reached the end of their insurance programmes. However, the figures do show that irrespective of the number of licensed entities, we are seeing consistent and sustained growth in the value of the Island's insurance sector business. It is clear that Guernsey continues to be recognised as a leading international insurance centre.
"During 2010 Guernsey Finance, in conjunction with the industry, will be pressing on with our efforts to market the sector's offering through participation at conferences such as Captive Live, the annual conferences of the British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) and the Association of Insurance and Risk Managers (AIRMIC) and also Luxembourg Rendezvous as well as again engaging heavily with journalists to get our message across through the trade media. The industry does face challenges but I am confident that during the year we can continue to build on our position as a world-renowned leader for insurance solutions."
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com
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