Global Briefs

Global Briefs – July 2019

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Hong Kong – Implementation of New Regulatory Regime for Insurance Intermediaries

Currently, insurance intermediaries are regulated by three Self-Regulatory Organizations (“SROs”), namely the Insurance Agents Registration Board set up by The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers, The Hong Kong Confederation of Insurance Brokers and the Professional Insurance Brokers Association.  The Insurance Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 (“Amendment Ordinance”), which was enacted on 10 July 2015, provides for, among other things, the establishment of a new statutory licensing regime for insurance intermediaries.  Upon the commencement of section 74 of the Amendment Ordinance, on a date to be published in Gazette, the Insurance Authority (“IA”) will take over the regulatory functions from the SROs to license and supervise all insurance intermediaries in Hong Kong.  The IA will be entrusted with a range of regulatory powers, including:
 

  • Issuing rules, codes and guidelines to set out licensing, conduct and other related requirements
  • Processing and approving insurance intermediary licence applications
  • Monitoring on-going compliance with the Insurance Ordinance by licensed insurance intermediaries
  • Exercising powers of inspections and investigations
  • Imposing disciplinary sanctions on substantiated cases

IA proposes to take over the regulation of insurance intermediaries from the three SROs on September 23, 2019, with the Insurance Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 (Commencement) Notice 2019 to be publically published in May 2019 to complete the prerequisite.  For more details, please click here.  

Hong Kong – Hong Kong insurance industry sees 12.3% growth in premiums for Q12019

According to the latest provisional report by the Hong Kong Insurance Authority* (IA), total gross premiums reached HK$148.8bn ($19bn), indicating an increase of 12.3 percent over the corresponding period in 2018. (Asia Insurance Review)

IRL: * Hong Kong Insurance Authority Levy

The Insurance Authority (IA) replaced the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance as Hong Kong’s insurance regulator in June 2017. The IA is a regulatory body that is independent of the government.  As an independent body, the IA will be funded in part by collecting annual fees from insurers and in part by collecting a Levy on all Hong Kong insurance premiums (with the exception of certain classes of business) beginning January 1, 2018. (https://bhspecialty.com)

Who is responsible for paying the Levy?

Policyholders are responsible for paying the Levy. However, insurers are responsible for collecting the Levy and remitting it to the IA. Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company will charge the Levy to policyholders each time premium is due.

To what classes of insurance does the Levy apply?

The Levy applies to all classes of insurance business except for aviation, marine and goods-in-transit. The Levy does not apply to reinsurance and captive business.

When will the Levy be charged?

The Levy will be charged starting on all policies, whether new or renewal, with inception or anniversary inception dates of January 1, 2018 or later. The Levy will be charged each time premium is payable to an insurer, including policy inception, policy renewal, premium installments and mid-term endorsements requiring additional premium.

Learn more FAQs > https://www.ia.org.hk/en/infocenter/faqs/faqs_levy.html

India – Plans to merge 3 of 4 state-owned insurers moving forward post-elections

The Indian government’s ambitious plan to merge three of the four state-owned non-life insurers is likely to be put on fast track as the government begins its second term. 

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