Insurance

Jennifer Haworth
Two recent announcements demonstrate that Bermuda has an important role to play in the global insurance market and is seeing growth in 2013. The Bermuda Monetary Authority (“BMA”) presented figures for the period ending July 2013 in which 47 new insurers were registered. This represents an 81% increase on last year which saw 26 new insurers registered. Interestingly, 13 of those new registrations came in the month of July alone. The BMA has indicated that the new registrations were predominantly special purpose insurers (“SPIs”). For 7 of the registered SPIs, their total projected premiums in their first year of business are expected to be over $151 million. The new registrations will cover a broad range of business areas including property catastrophe reinsurance, catastrophe bonds and life and annuity. It was also noted that the number of captives in Bermuda remains steady and has done so for the last three years. Contrary to the suggestions that captives are re-domiciling onshore, this has not been the case in Bermuda.

Timothy Frith
Questions of Causation frequently arise in many areas of the law, but causation is not a single, unvarying concept to be mechanically applied without regard to the context in which the question arises.

Lord Bingham in R v Kennedy [2007] UKHL 38

A dissent in a court of last resort is an appeal to the brooding spirit of the law, to the intelligence of a future day, when a later decision may possibly correct the error into which the dissenting judge believes the court to have been betrayed.

Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes The Supreme Court of the United States 3rd ed 1936

The last ten years have seen the question of “but-for” causation brought into sharp focus in order to avoid the potential injustice to thousands of Mesothelioma victims who have contracted the disease and who now seek to establish a causal link between Mesothelioma and their exposure to asbestos during the course of their employment which may have taken place many years before. The central problem that has bedevilled such employer’s liability claims has been the difficulty in establishing when the disease was triggered.

Bermuda is emerging as a leader in the global insurance linked securities (ILS) market, just three years after ILS were first listed on the Bermuda Stock exchange. This is no small achievement for Bermuda, which will further make its mark on the world stage when it plays host to the global ILS conference, Convergence 2013, in November.  What sets Bermuda apart? According to Dr. Grant Gibbons, Minister for Economic Development, Bermuda’s success can be attributed to having the right mix of several critical factors at the right time. “A combination of intellectual capital, leading investor and reinsurance marketplaces, a tried and tested approach and the right listing and regulatory backdrop”, explained Dr. Gibbons, “[all] provide for optimal conditions and competitive advantage for transacting insurance-linked deals”. Bermuda is one of the world’s largest reinsurance markets, hosting some 1,400 insurance companies with total assets of approximately $442 billion. The Island has over three decades of experience in providing sophisticated insurance solutions to a global client base and as host of the global ILS conference in November, Bermuda will see insurance and reinsurance companies, investors, sponsors, securities firms and investment banks, asset managers, regulators and service providers congregate to network and discuss the industry’s most strategic opportunities and pressing challenges.

Jane Collis
Many of us have life insurance and never give it a moment’s thought. It was offered to us as part of an employment package, or recommended to us when we got married, bought a house or had a child; another of life’s milestones and an acceptance of the responsibilities of adulthood. We feel secure that for a reasonable sum paid annually, our families will be provided for if the worst should happen. We renew the policy each year, never revisiting its terms or considering whether our circumstances or objectives may have changed. In truth, however, the designation of life insurance beneficiaries is as important to your family’s future, in the event of your death, as the terms of your will. Few of us would make a will without first considering whom we want to benefit and in what manner, obtaining legal advice and then carefully reading the documents, before signing on the dotted line.  The same should hold true for life insurance.