Risk managers are increasingly using non-traditional methods to manage their risks. The rise of captive solutions comes in the face of challenging insurance market conditions. In all regions, captive premium growth over the past two years has continued to trend upward and even mature captive markets, such as Europe, have seen growth. For instance, Guernsey and Luxembourg, two leading European domiciles, have seen premium growth of 13% and 36%, respectively. Meanwhile, in the UK, premiums increased by 8%. Historically, captive growth has occurred during periods of rising commercial insurance pricing as buyers retain more risk. However, even as rate increases began to slow for certain lines of business and regions, captives continued to grow. Captives can improve a business’ ability to manage the retentions and deductibles associated with traditional risk transfer programs. By forming its own subsidiary insurer to handle some of its risk, a company is freed from the control and restrictions of the commercial insurance market. A captive insurance program also offers organizations several strategic benefits, including enhanced group purchasing power and an improved negotiating position. Buyers will need to assess their organizational vulnerabilities and strategic goals carefully, to assess whether a captive will meet their needs. They can be costly and time-consuming to set up, so they’re not for everyone. Questions that can be used to help decide whether a captive solution is right include: Are business units unable to absorb increased pricing and retention levels? Is capacity and/or coverage becoming limited in the traditional market? Does the organization have uninsured catastrophic type risks? Is there frustration with the insurance market? Is there an appetite to get more visibility and control over claims management? An affirmative answer to questions such as these may suggest that a captive insurance program may be a viable option for an organization’s strategic risk management program
China’s direct economic losses from natural disasters surged to 41.18 billion yuan ($5.74 billion) in July, more than in January to June combined, driven by severe weather as two powerful typhoons hit the country in one month. The impact of floods, while common in China in summer, has grown more pronounced this year, affecting over 7 million people nationwide in July, when Beijing was struck by the worst rains in 140 years after the capital’s hottest June on record. August, when rainfall usually peaks and summer temperatures soar, is set for further economic impact from floods and heatwaves with rainfall in northeastern provinces being as much as 50% higher than normal. July losses from Typhoon Talim, which landed in southern China in the middle of the month, were 2.61 billion yuan, while losses from the more destructive Doksuri reached 14.74 billion yuan as of the end of July. Overall losses, compounded by damage from floods in southwest and northwest China, far exceeded the 38.23 billion yuan in the first half of 2023, and pose an unexpected drag on quarterly growth in the world’s second-largest economy, which is already in want of stimulus. In the northern province of Hebei, over 1.2 million people were evacuated due to flooding caused by residual rains from Doksuri. In the port city of Tianjin, which shares a border with Beijing and Hebei, local authorities evacuated about 66,000 people as they braced for flooding from upstream rivers.
Wildfires raged in Sicily after weeks of record-breaking temperatures, with local media at one point warning that the city of Palermo would be «encircled» by fires. Meanwhile, northern regions reeled from violent storms and high winds that uprooted trees and lifted roofs off buildings. In some places, tennis ball-sized hailstones injured people, damaged cars and destroyed crops. The regions of Lombardy and Veneto experienced torrential rainfall and extremely strong winds, which reached 100km/h (62mph) in Milan. One of the city’s main attractions, the 15th-Century Sforza Castle, was closed to the public on Tuesday «due to damage caused by severe weather». Meanwhile, Sicily battled wildfires that threatened towns and cities across the island with temperatures of more than 47.5C (117F) recorded in Catania. The fires caused deaths across southern Italy and more than 200 people in Palermo needed medical attention for smoke inhalation. The farmers’ association, Coldiretti, described it as an «unprecedented catastrophe with incalculable environmental damage». The exceptional heatwave that blighted the south of Italy and the storms that affected parts of the north were «two sides of the same coin» with the northern regions being right in the middle of very fresh Atlantic air and intensely hot African air, so becoming a perfect breeding ground for very intense storms. Several regions have asked the government to declare a state of emergency.
Recent Success Stories
|– Secured expat package for large oil & gas manufacturing firm
– Implemented group travel medical policy for supermarket chain distributor
– Helped client evaluate and address several issues relating to immigration, work visa and payroll implementation, enabling them to open regional sales offices for Europe and Asia
Bangladeshi expatriate workers abroad are now able to take advantage of the government’s newly implemented mandatory insurance programs. Prior to the introduction of insurance coverage for expatriate employees, the families of those affected by their death or injury faced a great deal of uncertainty. Family members of dead employees now have access to funds from insurance claims to help them recover from their loss. Some have used the funds to invest in businesses to support their families, while some who were hurt in accidents are using them to pay for their medical bills. The insurance program also provides cash assistance to workers who leave the country after losing their jobs within six months. Under the new policy, a Bangladeshi overseas worker would now be eligible for a Tk10 lakh (1,000,000) of insurance coverage, up from a Tk4 lakh (400,000), for workplace death and permanent impairments like loss of eyesight or hands. Additionally, the new coverage includes Tk50,000 cash support, a new addition to the expat insurance for the first time, in the event that an expatriate returns home after losing a job within six months of migrating. Previously, the insurance coverage was valid for two years. The old insurance policy had a one-time premium of Tk 490, while the new one now has a one-time cost of Tk 1,000 because the coverage period has been increased to five years.
According to recent research, businesses in Singapore are increasingly providing mental health benefits for their employees’ corporate insurance coverage. These benefits for mental wellness have grown as a result of the pandemic’s call for increased attention to mental health, and businesses are beginning to see the value in hiring people who prioritize their wellbeing. The country’s insurers claim that usage of mental health benefits was low prior to the epidemic but has surged over the past few years. According to a local insurer, only 1% of business clients had mental health insurance before 2020. This year, that percentage increased to almost 10%. Additionally, the business observed a rise in Income Insurance due to requests from employers to provide mental health coverage following COVID. The study also discovered that businesses with broad coverage and a higher percentage of international organizations offer mental health benefits. On the other hand, small and medium-sized businesses are more careful when structuring their perks, choosing instead to begin with fundamental additions like a round-the-clock counseling hotline.
According to the most recent report from a global mobility firm, the UK is the most expensive place in the world to send staff, with expatriate annual salary and benefits packages costing firms on average £351,992 last year, up £33,887 or 11% from the previous year. More than half of the increase was attributable to rising costs for expat employee perks including housing, international schools, and cars, while the average compensation for a middle management post climbed by only £2,998 per year or 5% since 2021, to £63,250. The UK has maintained its position as the world’s costliest expatriate destination for the second year in a row, in part due to increased benefit costs, but exchange rate fluctuations have also contributed. The cost of housing has also increased significantly, resulting in a 15% increase in the overall cost of benefits.
Events, developments, and opportunities in the international marketplace Volume 6, 2023 Visit us at www.globexintl.com Philippines Reminder – Resident Agent Requirement
During a recent catch-up call with our network partners in the Philippines, they took the opportunity to remind us about an integral nuance about placing reinsured business in this country. As per local requirements, any foreign insurer or broker that is not an admitted carrier or a licensed intermediary in the Philippines or is domiciled outside of the Philippines, and wants to conduct insurance business in the Philippines must have an appointed Resident Agent in the Philippines. Noncompliance with this requirement may result in high penalties. A Resident Agent is defined as an individual or company that is duly appointed by a foreign insurer or broker with authorization to receive notices, summonses, and legal processes in connection with actions on behalf of the foreign insurer or broker that is not authorized to do business in the Philippines. In addition, the Resident Agent can respond and represent the foreign entity in legal proceedings against a foreign insurer or broker. The general processing time for the Insurance Commission of the Philippines to complete the application submission period for a Resident Agent is approximately 60 days. Globex is happy to assist you in securing a Resident Agent in the Philippines via our local Network Partners. Please feel free to reach out to our Reinsurer Registration Desk by contacting any member of your Globex team.
Egypt – Tax Update
Globex received notification from our network partners in Egypt that, effective June 16th, 2023, the Stamp Tax on local admitted policies increased from 5% to 5.5%. We share some nuances about the development: If a policy has an effective date prior to June 16th and the official binder with the firm confirmation of the placement has a date of June 16th or later, then the revised 5.5% Stamp Tax will apply. If a policy has an effective date prior to June 16th and the binding documents are received before June 16th, the prior 5% Stamp Tax will be applied. For any questions, feel free to reach out to your Globex team.
Nepal – Reinsurer Nuances
Nepal is experiencing an increase in activity, and Globex has recently been working on several reinsured policy placements in this country. We were contacted by our friends on the ground, and they shared some important updates: As per the new Reinsurance Directive implemented on May 22, 2023, all reinsurers and reinsurance brokers working in Nepal are required to enlist themselves with the Nepal Insurance Authority (NIA) by July 16th, 2023. The underwriting year in Nepal runs from July to July, and July 16th happens to be the end of the underwriting year. In order for a foreign reinsurer to be included in the NIA registry, a set of documents must be provided; these documents can be furnished to the NIA through a local insurer in Nepal. In the absence of the registration, no reinsurance premiums can be remitted to the overseas reinsurer. For a copy of the Reinsurance Directive in Nepal and a list of the requirements to register as a foreign reinsurer in the NIA, please do not hesitate to contact our Reinsurer Registration Desk.
Portugal – A Recent Development for Reinsurance
Our friends in Portugal have shared some insight into the reinsurance requirements in this country, and this may affect other European carriers as well. Until recently, the European Regulation «Regulamento Delegado (UE) 2015/35», the governing insurance and reinsurance regulator, stated that to place any reinsured business in the European Union (EU), any foreign insurer would require a minimum rating. This rating, known as a «Step 3 credit rating», corresponds to an S&P rating between BBB- and BBB+. Last June, the Portuguese legislator issued the «Decreto Regulamentar 2/2023R», whereby insurers ceding reinsurance to non-EU reinsurers and non-recognized Solvency II equivalent geographies need to obtain detailed information from the overseas reinsurer. This information is regarding their credit risk and, in addition, may require a guarantee corresponding to at least 50% of the exposure. As a result, some insurance carriers in Europe have opted to reinsure business with only EU-domiciled reinsurers. Globex is obtaining further insight into this very recent development and will keep our readers posted. Placed a Marine Cargo program with fronted policies in the UK, Europe, and Japan, and a reinsured policy in China for an investment holding company. The Company is engaged in the small home appliance online market. Secured a fronted Management Liability policy in Chile for a global distributor of value-added wood and specialty building products for the industrial and commercial markets. Instrumental in placing a Pollution and Environmental Liability fronted policy in Papua New Guinea for a leading Australian engineering group providing construction, maintenance, and industrial services to the resources, energy, and infrastructure sectors. Assisted in the placement of fronting Freight Forwarders’ Liability policies in Guatemala, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic for a barge terminal operating company. Placed a Marine Cargo policy in Argentina for a global manufacturer and distributor of oil field pumping units, gear reducers, pumping unit structures, pumping unit parts, fabricated metal enclosures, steel/alloy rods, metal couplings, machined metal castings/forgings, and electrical/electronic parts for control systems. Secured reinsured Marine Cargo policies in China and Malaysia for a UK-based provider of machine manufacturing services.
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