Guernsey insurance captives and Protected Cell Companies (PCCs) continue to offer comprehensive solutions for global companies, being particularly attractive in this hardening market. In his first blog, Guernsey Finance's newly appointed UK insurance Business Development representative, William Lewis, discusses what Guernsey captives and PCCs have to offer and why Guernsey is the right place for those looking for bespoke insurance solutions.
Since my appointment as Guernsey Finance's first insurance-specific Business Development representative, the enquiries I have dealt with illustrate the versatility of the insurance solutions Guernsey can offer. This includes not only captives and PCCs, but also the likes of Managing General Agents (MGAs), Investment Linked Securities (ILS) and reinsurance structures, to name but three.
With the market materially hardening in many areas, particularly reinsurance, this is leading to significantly increased premiums and lack of sufficient coverage. So, this provides the perfect environment for companies to consider forming a captive or a PCC.
This comes at the time that Guernsey celebrates over one hundred years of captives and 25 years of Guernsey PCCs. In addition, it is now the single largest domicile for captive insurance in Europe, with a total of 201 captives and 124 captive cells on the island at the end of 2022. This, and Guernsey being awarded the title of European Captive Domicile of the Year at the UK Captives Services awards, is testament to the quality and experience of our practitioners.
I have been travelling on business to Guernsey for over 23 years and, apart from being a beautiful, picturesque island and a stone's throw from both Europe and the UK, the Guernsey insurance industry offers a high level of professionalism, quality service and innovation, alongside a strong regulatory framework provided by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. This ensures that any captive or PCC is well managed and financially stable, which means you can focus on running your business without worrying about regulatory or service issues.
Captives have proven to be a unique and effective solution for many global companies looking to optimise their risk financing and Guernsey is the go-to location for many businesses looking to set up their own captive insurance companies, as it offers both cost effective and structural flexibility.
Alternatively, PCCs are also very accessible, with low set-up and running costs, and a preferable structure for those clients wanting a more arms-length entity, as well as being very quick and easy to establish.
So what is the difference between a captive and a PCC? A captive insurance company is like your own personal insurance provider; a subsidiary of your larger company that provides insurance coverage exclusively for you. Whereas, PCCs are like a collective of mini, segregated insurance companies within a larger company, allowing you to segregate your assets and liabilities into a separate cell.
It is worth adding, that whilst regulatory scrutiny can be a challenge, Guernsey tackles this head on, with a risk-based approach to regulation. This means that companies are regulated based on their individual risk profile, which is a positive to any business owner.
During my short time in post, it is obvious that Guernsey's reputation as a jurisdiction of choice precedes it amongst those clients and advisers, such as lawyers, accountants and brokers, who are aware of what opportunities Guernsey can provide. I see part of my role as educating those advisers who are not aware of the benefits. In addition, seeking out those clients who do not know what Guernsey has to offer.
With the island's expertise and innovation in insurance solutions and structures, favourable regulatory environment, cost-effectiveness and close proximity to the UK and Europe, Guernsey truly is a leading jurisdiction for all your insurance and reinsurance needs.
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.weareguernsey.com.
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.