Caribbean Insurance - Current Market
Insurance in the Caribbean is largely dependent on the country in question. The Bahamas is currently dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and as such is looking at billions of dollars in recovery costs and insurance claims. Jamaica is experiencing growth which has been brought about by tax incentives, government policies and other factors. The details are below.
- The most recent hurricane to have passed through the Caribbean waters is Dorian. This system has been declared to be the worst natural disaster ever experienced in the Bahamas. The total insured losses experienced so far was no less than US$1 billion while others estimate that it is approximately $3 billion in damages.
- In the Bahamas, the insurance industry has two sectors, the domestic and the international. The domestic market is the larger of the two and is supported by 49 international insurers and seven that are locally owned. Most insurance contracts are written up by an agent of an insurance company or a broker.
- The market in the Bahamas has some advantages, for example, they have good professional support in terms of the legal, financial and accounting services, they are responsive to new proposals, the communication system is acceptable, and leisure activities there include sailing, snorkeling, sport fishing, tennis, golf, and others.
- Insurance in Jamaica is monitored by the Financial Services Commission (FSC). In Jamaica, some drivers in the insurance market are technological innovations, growth in the economy, consumer awareness of insurance and an increase in spending by the government. These have led to significant growth and penetration in the sector.
- Property, vehicles, health and other types of insurance have a strong demand. Additionally, there is a growing need for insurance, which have been brought about by tax incentives, improved life expectancy, and savings from insurance.
- Some life insurance companies include JN Life, Guardian Life, and Sagicor Life. General insurance providers include Advantage General, JN General, GK General, and Guardian General.
- The insurance industry is monitored by the Bank of Guyana. They are also guided by the Insurance Act of 2016.
- The country treats third party auto insurance as compulsory and allows composite insurance as well as 100% FDI. On the other hand, non-admitted insurance is not allowed.
- Some players include Guyana & Trinidad Mutual Life Insurance Company Ltd, Hand-in-Hand Mutual Life Assurance Company Ltd, and North American Life Insurance Company Ltd. General insurance companies include Caricom General Insurance Company Inc., and The Demerara Fire and General Insurance Company Ltd.
- An international company wanting to set up offices in Barbados must be registered under the 'Exempt Insurance Act' or the 'Insurance Act.' It is regulated by the Financial Services Commission. However, both groups of companies must have the permission of the Barbados government before applying for incorporation.
- Some incentives under the Exempt Insurance Act includes an exemption for 30 years, US companies can deduct company taxes against their US taxes, tax concessions, and exemption from income and taxes. Additionally, there are no requirements to file tax returns, the laws are flexible and modern, there is no need for physical meetings and several others. Barbados provides a good range of professional services including legal, and accounting.
- Some life insurance companies include Sagicor Life, Pan-American International, and Guardian Life. General insurance companies include Co-operatives General, Sagicor General and ICBL.
- The insurance industry in Belize is regulated by the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) and the Office of the Supervisor of Insurance & Private Pension (OSIPP). The country does not allow composite insurance, however, third-party insurance for automobiles, as well as professional liability insurance, are compulsory.
- Additionally, insurance that is non-admitted is not legally, and reinsurers do not need a license to operate. Belize permits 100% FDI
- Examples of insurance companies RF&G Insurance, Allied Insurance Agencies, Home Protector and Insurance Corporation of Belize.