Guernsey has just experienced its best ever year for new captive insurance company registrations. During 1996, 40 new captives were registered, and with 12 companies surrendering their licenses, the net increase was 28, bringing the total of offshore insurers at the year end to 335 (324 captives and 11 offshore life companies).

The surrenders were mainly due to mergers and acquisitions of the captive parents. None of the captives were closed down because of financial difficulties.

Notable registrations during the year included captives set up by the Post Office (to write insurance for their low risk liabilities), British Energy Plc, National Express Group plc, the Medical & Dental Defence Union of Scotland, the Britannia Building Society and the Halifax Building Society. The latter insures customers against negative equity and Halifax is the first of the building societies to take advantage of new legislation which allows societies to form insurance subsidiaries other than for mortgage indemnity. Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), a global $34 billion engineering group, also registered two captives in Guernsey during the year.

As in previous years, the principal source of business remained the United Kingdom, with 25 out of the 40 new companies having a U.K. parent. However, there was a larger geographical spread this year, including Continental Europe, the Americas, Australia and the Far East. Four captives with South African parents were also registered, including Home Finance Guarantors (Insurance) Limited. This was set up by the Home Loan .Guarantee Company which provides guarantees to lenders in the country's home purchase market. By establishing this captive, Home Loan Guarantee has increased its capacity to support lenders in South Africa and, therefore, will no doubt play a significant role in helping the South African Government meet its target of building a million new, low cost homes over the next decade.

Following the merger Aon, Bain Hogg and Alexanders, the local captive management operations have joined forces to create Guernsey's largest insurance manager with over 80 registered companies. There were also three new captive managers authorised during 1996.

Legislative developments include progress on the proposed new legislation to supervise insurance intermediaries. The consultation stage is now over and the drafting process nearing completion. Work has also been finalised on protected cell companies and the resultant legislation (The Protected Cell Companies Ordinance, 1997) came into force on 29 January. Protected cell companies can be used in the context of both insurance and investment business. In the case of insurance, PCCs allow for core capital to be subscribed by insurance companies, insurance managers or participants themselves and can offer a practical alternative to stand-alone captives. The insurance business of different insurers can be written into different cells each of whose assets are protected in law from the liabilities of other cells. It is also possible given consent of the Commission to convert an existing company into a PCC.


Total as at December 1995                                 307

 New registrations during 1996:
 World Traveller Insurance Limited
 Anchorage Insurance Company Limited
 Panrexa Insurance Limited
 Cronos Containers Insurance Limited
 Britsafe Insurance Services (Guernsey) Limited
 Flightform Insurance Limited
 Horizon Holidays Insurance Limited
 Bee Insurance Limited
 Seafield Marine Insurance Company Limited
 Lochside Insurance Limited
 Travel Managers Insurance Company Limited
 Mid-Pacific Reinsurance Company Limited
 Railtrack Insurance Limited
 United Kenning Rental Group Insurance Services Limited
 Brownstone Insurance Limited
 Sure-ha International Limited
 PI Insurance Company Limited
 Millennium Life Assurance Company Limited
 Gamond Insurance Company Limited
 Garlan Insurance Limited
 Pi Underwriting Limited
 Broom Insurance Company Limited
 MDDUS Insurance Limited
 Home Finance Guarantors (Insurance) Limited
 ABB Reinsurance Company Limited
 ABB Power Insurance Limited
 Halifax Guarantee Insurance Company Limited
 Senator Insurance Limited
 Acacia Insurance Guernsey Limited
 Geest (Guernsey) Limited
 Martin Dawes Reinsurance Limited
 Bantam Insurance Company Limited
 PostCap Guernsey Limited
 National Express Guernsey Limited
 Mutual Indemnity (Bermuda) Limited
 Scimitar Insurance Company Limited
 Burnaby Insurance (Guernsey) Limited
 Transcor Insurance Limited
 Kingsmill Insurance Company Limited
 UNIC Insurance Limited                                    40 


Catoc Reinsurance Company Limited
Capacity Resources Insurance Company Limited
Caldaire Insurance Limited
Northwind Insurance Limited
Normandy Re Limited
The London & Channel Islands P & I Association
W&P Insurance Limited
Rusica International Insurance Company Limited
PC Insurance Company Limited
Stag Insurance Limited
Bankside Insurance Company Limited
Prolific International (Guernsey) Life Assurance Limited   12

TOTAL AS AT 31 DECEMBER 1996                              335


As at 31 December 1996, the total of 335 offshore insurance
 companies registered broke down as follows:

Pure captives              283
Broad captives              23
Commercial captives         18
Total Captives             324

Offshore life (active)       5 (Generali Worldwide, Nordben, Old 
                                Mutual International, South African 
                                Mutual, Sun Alliance)
Offshore life (running off)  6 (Abtrust, Continental Life, Cornhill 
                                Ins. (Gsy), European Life (CI), 
                                Finistere, Premium Life)


PARENTAGE           NO.           %

AUSTRALIA            1            2.5

BENELUX              3            7.5

BERMUDA              1            2.5

FAR EAST             1            2.5

MIDDLE EAST          1            2.5

SOUTH AFRICA         4           10.0

SWITZERLAND          3            7.5

UK                  25           62.5

U.S.A.               1            2.5

TOTAL               40          100.0

For further information contact Peter Crook on Tel: +44 (0) 1481 712 706 or fax: +44 (0) 1481 712 010 or e-mail:

Visit the Guernsey Financial Services Commission Web Site at Click Contact Link

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