The National Council of Private Insurance recently submitted for public consultation a draft regulation on the acceptance of retrocession by insurers and its intermediation. Among other things, the draft regulation allows insurers to accept retrocession risks from foreign reinsurers not registered with the Superintendence of Private Insurers (SUSEP) through foreign reinsurance brokers also not registered with the SUSEP, provided that the local insurer is authorised to operate in the lines of risks accepted.
The Superintendence of Private Insurance recently published Circular 553, which establishes new general guidelines on civil liability insurance policies for directors and officers, replacing the existing regulations on this matter. The new regulation, albeit flawed, has been welcomed by the market, as the previous D&O regulations did not reflect market practices.
The Brazilian Insurance Agency (SUSEP) recently published a circular to provide regulated companies (ie, insurers, reinsurers and private pension companies) with the possibility of entering into a commitment agreement for a change in conduct (known under the acronym 'TCAC' in Portuguese) with SUSEP. While TCACs are not a new instrument, the circular allows the parties to enter into an agreement establishing a reasonable period in which to change or adjust the company's conduct.
A new bill aimed at replacing the Brazilian insurance law will soon be submitted to the Senate and a new insurance law is likely to be enacted in 2017. In general, the bill is exceedingly protectionist towards insureds and so overly detailed that it creates a framework of rules that is confusing and conflicts with other existing laws and regulations not only of an insurance nature, but also of a civil procedure one (eg, the Arbitration Act and the Consumer Defence Code).
Superintendence of Private Insurance (SUSEP) Circular 541/2016 establishes general guidelines applicable to directors' and officers' insurance policies in relation to insurers' right to make direct payments to a third party, defence cost coverage and fines and contractual and administrative penalties. Although the new rule is an improvement, it has been much criticised by the insurance market and there has been a recent plea to SUSEP to suspend the rule's effects.
The Department of Finance Canada recently announced the launch of the first of a two-stage consultation process on the federal financial sector legislative and regulatory framework. In this first stage of the process, the department is seeking input on the trends that are highlighted in the paper, the implications of these trends and the areas where action is possible and desirable.
The securities and insurance regulator (SVS) recently published for comment the fifth version of its methodology for determining the risk-based capital of insurers. The latest version ‒ as well as the conceptual bases developed by the SVS for analysis, discussion and improvement ‒ includes a number of changes from the previous version and will be subject to public consultation until July 31 2017.
China's shift towards a knowledge-based digital economy is fuelling growth in the insurance sector, which aligns with the government's plan to double the rate of insurance penetration by 2020. By this date, insurance premium income is expected to have reached Rmb4.5 trillion. If this aim is achieved, China will have usurped the United States to become the world's largest insurance market, which bodes well for overseas insurers looking to participate in the domestic market.
A new wave of 'insurtech' companies (ie, insurers engaging with online distribution models and tech companies foraying into insurance) are recognising the gains to be made by entering into this emerging market. However, these developments by no means spell the end of the larger, more traditional Chinese insurers, which are adapting their longer-term business development strategies in response.
Recent ransomware attacks across the globe have once again brought to the fore the all-encompassing enterprise risk management challenge that cyber-risks present to corporations. The raft of operational consequences of such an attack present an ever-burgeoning opportunity for insurers to expand further into this potentially lucrative new line of business. This is particularly pertinent in China, where there has been a shift towards increasing digitisation and automation in various high-tech industries.
The regulations concerning investment limits and the required qualifications for shareholders that want to invest in Chinese insurers continue to be a focal point for potential investors. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission recently published the Administrative Measures for Equities of Insurance Companies (Draft for Comments), which make fundamental changes to the existing regulatory framework.
At present, the recently adopted China Risk-Oriented Solvency System (C-ROSS) is the only regime which regulates mainland insurers' capital adequacy. By appropriating the most useful features of existing global regimes, C-ROSS has formulated a risk-based supervision regime that is on a par with global standards, yet remains tailored to the specifics of the Chinese insurance market.
The European Council has formally adopted the EU Insurance Distribution Directive. The Insurance Distribution Directive will replace the EU Insurance Mediation Directive and introduce refreshed minimum regulatory standards for insurance sales in the European Union. The overhaul was prompted by, among other things, the development of a more complex insurance market and product offerings since the Insurance Mediation Directive was enacted.