Tuesday, 8 May 2012
Figures on captives are notoriously difficult to collate. While most domiciles publish details of numbers of captive licences issued, the problem is that the domiciles have different definitions of what a captive constitutes. Others simply do not officially reveal how many captive insurers there are, such as Switzerland or Sweden.
Despite this caveat, numbers are available and can give an indication of growth and size. For European parented captives, the largest domicile is Guernsey. Guernsey, unlike other domiciles, counts individual cells as captives, and so its figures show an increase from 675 at the end of 2010 to 687 at the end of 2011. This comprises 255 companies, 68 PCCs, 267 PCC cells, five ICCs, 15 ICC cells and 77 life policy cells. In 2011, Guernsey licensed 72 international insurers during 2011, compared with 47 approved during 2010.
The largest EU domicile in terms of captive numbers is Luxembourg with around 245 reinsurance captives, although the total number has stayed much the same for a few years. The Isle of Man has seen captive numbers declining a little for the last five years, and had 150 authorised insurers at the end of 2011, down from previous years. The latest figures (to the end of March 2011) show that Gibraltar has 15 captives, writing gross premiums of £498m. In Malta, the total number of captives at the end of 2011 stood at 10. The number of PCCs increased from four to eight, while the overall number of cells increased to 16.
Bermuda is still the biggest captive domicile with 862 captives registered in Bermuda at the end of 2011, up from 845 in 2010, according to the Bermuda Monetary Authority. But close behind is Cayman, which ended 2011 with 739 captives, comprising 419 pure captives, 124 segregated portfolio companies, 75 group captives, 52 association captives, 36 special purpose vehicles, 32 open market insurers and one rent-a-captive, according to the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. In 2011, 38 new captives were licenced.