The number of international
insurance entities domiciled in Guernsey reached 714 at the end of
December 2008 – up from 708 at the same time 12 months
The main growth comes in the number
Protected Cell Companies (PCCs), Incorporated Cell Companies (ICCs)
and their related cells.
"We are very pleased to have
recorded this growth given our maturity as a captive insurance
domicile, increased competition from other jurisdictions and the
soft market conditions that have been prevailing," said
Dominic Wheatley, Deputy Chairman of the Guernsey Insurance
Companies Management Association (GICMA).
"However, I believe we can
build on this much further during 2009. The commercial market will
begin to increase premiums during this year as the changed economic
picture means insurers find capital more expensive and investment
income harder to come by. Indeed there are already clear signs of a
hardening of premium rates in a number of critical corporate
insurance markets. At the same time there is likely to be a
heightened perception of the risks associated with relying totally
on the commercial market for primary insurance given the failures
or near-failures of some very large insurers.
"These developments increase
the attractiveness of risk financing alternatives such as captives.
This is in addition to 'traditional' benefits of captives
such as the retention of premiums within the group and the
potential for its return to the parent (as well as investment
income) should there be no claims.
"All of these factors are
developing apace but underwriters often become less willing to
cooperate in the engagement of a captive in corporate insurance
programmes as the market hardens. In short, now is the time to
establish a captive."
Figures from the Guernsey Financial
Services Commission (GFSC) show that there were 370 international
insurers and 344 PCC cells licensed in the jurisdiction at the end
of December 2008.
insurance industry has gross assets of £18.5bn, a net worth
of £6.5bn and writes premiums of £3bn.
The Island retains its place as the
leading captive domicile in Europe by numbers of entities and is
fourth in the world in terms of premiums written.
Peter Niven, Chief Executive of
Guernsey Finance, said: "Guernsey is ready to use its position
as a leading captive domicile to take full advantage of the way in
which the changed market conditions make the concept more
attractive at present than anytime in the last five years. We will
be pushing out the captive messages loud and clear to our key UK
and European markets that not only is now the time to consider a
captive but that Guernsey's experience, expertise and
innovation make the Island the best choice of domicile."
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