What InsurTechs ought to like about Gibraltar
Gibraltar has built a reputation as a congenial domicile for insurance companies. With a robust regulatory regime but an accessible regulator prepared to work fast, Gibraltar is now home to a third of motor insurance premiums in the United Kingdom, including those paid to household names such as Admiral. With nine tenths of its business emanating from London, Gibraltar has suffered little from the loss of free access to European Union (EU) markets that followed Brexit. In fact, Gibraltar may even benefit if plans to join the Schengen Area are realised. With a blockchain law in place, and a statement of intent agreed with InsurTech UK, Gibraltar is also catching the attention of the new breed of technology-driven insurers planning to disrupt an industry that traditionally avoids being in the vanguard of technological revolutions. Dominic Hobson, co-founder of Future of Finance, spoke to Mike Ashton, senior finance executive, insurance and pensions, at Gibraltar Finance, the government body that promotes Gibraltar as a financial services centre, about the opportunities InsurTechs will find in the British Overseas Territory.
Questions that are being asked
1. Is insurance a business ripe for sweeping technological innovation?
2. Both Zego and Marshmellow – two high profile UK InsurTechs – came to Gibraltar. Why?
3. What other InsurTech businesses do you host in Gibraltar (e.g abacai)?
4. Why is Gibraltar a good base from which to disrupt the insurance industry?
5. Gibraltar has just (4 October 2021) signed an agreement (a Statement of Intent) with InsurTech UK. What do you expect that to lead to?
6. How else do you market Gibraltar in the UK and elsewhere?
7. What are the key components of the Come to Gibraltar sales pitch?
8. Are there tax incentives to operate from Gibraltar?
9. How does the Managing General Agent (MGA) model work?
10. Are there other structures (e. g. Protected Cell Companies) that interest insurers?
11. How much substance does an insurer need in Gibraltar?
12. How big is Gibraltar as an insurance centre, what insurance line does it specialise in, and how does it compare with other specialist insurance centres (e. g. Bermuda)?
13. How did Gibraltar build such a strong position in insurance?
14. Gibraltar has built a particularly strong position in UK motor insurance. Was that a result of the problems at Lloyd’s in the 1990s?
15. Motor insurance has a particular character. How would you describe it?
16. What problems has Brexit created for insurers in Gibraltar?
17. What opportunities has Brexit created for insurers in Gibraltar (e. g. tax flexibility, attracting more foreign business etc.)?
18. UK financial services are presently in a kind of limbo in relation to the EU. What does that mean for Gibraltar?
19. Do you expect – and would you like – the UK to evolve away from EU regulation of the insurance industry (e. g. Solvency II)?
20. The UK government has guaranteed Gibraltar access to the UK market. How do Gibraltar insurers work with insurers (especially underwriters) in the UK?
21. How are regulatory responsibilities for insurers split between the FCA in London and the FSC in Gibraltar?
22. Do you see opportunities in other large insurance markets, such as North America and Asia?
23. Are there synergies with other financial sectors in Gibraltar (such as funds and on-line gaming)?
24. Are you excited about the application of AI to insurance – and, if so, what is the angle Gibraltar offers?
25. Are you excited about the application of blockchain to insurance – and, if so, what is the angle Gibraltar offers?
26. Gibraltar has a blockchain legal framework in place. Does that intrigue insurers at all?
27. What would you like the Gibraltar insurance industry to look like in five or ten years’ time?
28. What attracted you personally to Gibraltar?