Seychelles: Offshore Business Sectors
See Offshore Business Review – Insurance for a more general treatment of captive insurance companies.
The Insurance Act 1994 was modelled on the Insurance Act of Singapore; 1995 amendments provide for the licensing of offshore insurance companies, insurance managers and principal insurance representatives; captives are also covered by the Insurance (Non-Domestic Insurance Business) Regulations 1996. In 2003 the Protected Cell Companies Act, 2003 was passed. A PCC is a Seychelles domestic company that has the right to create one or more identifiable cells so as to segregate and protect cellular assets as permitted under the Act.
In 2008, new legislation was introduced, in the form of the Insurance Act 2008. Licensing of domestic and non-domestic (offshore) insurance companies is in the hands of the Insurance Authority under the Minister of Finance and Communications. Licenses are granted only to companies incorporated under the Companies Act 1972 or foreign companies which have registered under the Companies Act.
Applications for licences include at least the following information:
- A business plan detailing the extent of the commercial operations intended;
- Memorandum and Articles of Association, and enabling Board Minute;
- Certificate of incorporation or registration;
- List of shareholders, directors and managers including their addresses, nationalities and details of their relevant insurance expertise;
- Three references, one being from a reputable international financial institution.
The minimum paid up capital for general or life insurance companies is US$125,000, for reinsurance companies, US$1m, and for captive insurance companies, US$70,000. These sums must be deposited at a bank licensed by the Seychelles Central Bank (see above). Domestic insurance companies need minimum capital of SR2m, of which 30% must be invested in prescribed Government securities, and must have adequate reinsurance arrangements. See Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes for details of processing fees and annual licensing fees payable. The Insurance Authority imposes a number of continuing prudential and supervisory requirements on insurance companies.
All licensed offshore (non-domestic) insurance companies are exempted from Seychelles taxes and duties for a 20 year period from the date the licence was granted, although a non-domestic insurer may elect to pay business tax in Seychelles on its taxable income as agreed with the Commissioner of Taxes.