The long-term insurance sector in Bermuda has grown significantly over the last number of years, driven by new entrants in the market with diverse business models, as well as an increase in the size and complexity of existing entities.
Maintaining high-quality and effective supervision by the BMA is an important foundation to ensure adequate policyholder protection and continued financial stability.
The BMA issued proposed enhancements to the regulatory and supervisory regime for long-term commercial insurers and (re)insurance groups in Bermuda in a consultation paper on February 24, 2023.
The Regulator stated it “strives to ensure that the cornerstones of the regulatory regime for commercial insurers continue to be sound, serving the double goal of protecting policyholders and contributing to financial stability”. It added, “like other peer regulators, the BMA assesses the adequacy of existing regulatory tools to ensure it continues capturing the risks and enhancing the level of disclosures and transparency”.
The targeted improvements fall under three key areas:
- Technical Provisions
- Bermuda Solvency Capital Requirements (BSCR) Computation and Framework
- Revision of the Fees charged to Long-Term Entities
A change to the risk margin calculation of Insurance Groups to be on an unconsolidated basis going forward.
Changes to the standard discount curve for liabilities denominated in Euro.
Changes to the Scenario-Based Approach (SBA) will include enhanced modelling, governance, validation, stress testing and reporting requirements, as well as the introduction of a requirement for prior approval of the SBA model (in addition to the existing approval process already applicable to assets admissible on a limited basis).
The Regulator proposes to grandfather treatment of the existing portfolio of liabilities that use the SBA model until their run off.
Bermuda Solvency Capital Requirements (BSCR) Computation and Framework
Changes will be made to the ‘other long-term insurance risk capital charge’ to increase its risk sensitivity for lapse and expense risks.
Changes will also be made to Property and Casualty (P&C) catastrophe risk charges to capture man-made risks better.
Revisions will be made to the application processes framework for modifying specific BSCR parameters, to ensure that the framework is more clearly defined, standardised and transparent in terms of scope and requirements.
Revision of the Fees charged to Long-Term Entities
The Regulator has proposed various fee enhancements in order to meet the cost of supervision that would ensure it has the appropriate level of resources, tools and processes to effectively supervise the entities.
The bulk of the fee increases are aimed at bringing the annual business fee and registration fees charged to long-term commercial insurers in line with the fees charged to commercial P&C insurers. It also includes fees for long-term Internationally Active Insurance Groups (IAIG).
The Regulator is seeking industry feedback on the proposed amendments by April 30, 2023 and is encouraging commercial insurers to field test the proposals using the three different templates they released on 27 February 2023. This will enable the BMA to assess and refine the impacts of the proposed changes.
The BMA has signalled the release of a second consultation paper in Q3 2023 before the proposed changes are brought to legislation. The changes are expected to come into effect on January 1, 2024.
How can we help?
We recommend that companies for whom these changes relate promptly address their preparedness.
We can work with you on the necessary preparations including impact studies, readiness assessments, field testing etc.
If you would like to know more, contact Tanya Beattie or your usual Grant Thornton contact.