Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Offshore Business Sectors
See Offshore Business Review – Insurance for a more general treatment of captive insurance companies.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has identified the international insurance sector as an excellent growth area. The present insurance regime offers a great deal of flexibility to insurers wishing to conduct international insurance business.
The sector is regulated by the International Insurance (Amendment and Consolidation) Act 1998 which came into effect on December 15, 1998 and, the International Insurance Regulations gazetted on June 22, 1999 . Together these laws set the legal framework for the high quality of regulatory and administrative processes necessary to foster and maintain market participation, transparency and confidence. The legislation governing insurance was updated in several aspects in 2006, however, and plans were afoot for further updates in 2007.
Under this regime insurers have a choice of five classes of international insurance companies. This flexibility is designed to accommodate both the largest and the smallest insurance enterprises and allows for a diverse range of activity:
- Class I - Unrestricted - insurers can carry on any international insurance business, including long term;
- Class II - General - Insurers can carry on general but not long-term international insurance business;
- Class III - Association - insurers can carry on general and long-term international insurance business with two or more owners of the insurer and/or their affiliates, and up to 30% of business with persons who are not owners of the insurer or their affiliates;
- Class IV - Group - insurer can carry on general and/or long term international insurance business with one owner, its affiliates, and employees;
- Class V - Single - insurer may carry on any international insurance business, with the sole owner of the insurer, if a company, or with the beneficial owners of the insurer, if a trust.
There are individual capital requirements for each class; higher requirements for higher risk firms. At the application stage, the firms themselves are allowed to state a class of business and to make their own specific assessment of the overall level of financial resources they would need to meet their liability.
At the end of June, 2011, there were five international insurance companies registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Annual fees are USD3,000 for Classes I, II and III; and USD2,000 for Classes IV and V.