February 2, 2018 - San Juan, PR - Just months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, dealing a blow to the island and its people, Puerto Rico's captive insurance industry continues to provide economic hope.
As a captive insurance domicile, Puerto Rico serves as a bridge between the mainland United States, Latin America and the world. In fact, Puerto Rico is already a well-respected domicile, with 200 captive insurance companies; its domestic insurance market is a mature and sophisticated market having annual premiums in excess of $11 billion. The captives are regulated by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, an accredited member of the US National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and are subject to the majority of US federal laws.
Particularly unique to Puerto Rico, from a regulatory and consumer perspective, is the fact that the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance runs and manages the International Insurance Center ("the Center"), a one stop regulatory center for Puerto Rico domiciled captive insurance companies.
The Center was formed as a best-in-class regulatory structure, based on a review of top practice captive regulator activities in the U.S. and from around the world. Additionally, the robust capital requirements needed in order to qualify as an international insurer under the Center are substantially higher than the amount required in most domestic mainland jurisdictions. Further, the Premium to Capital Ratio of 3:1, which must be maintained by all captive participants in a P&C Protected Cell Company, not just the owners, is significantly more than what virtually every other domestic and foreign captive domicile requires. These strong requirements combine to ensure that the Center offers cutting-edge, reliable, and high-quality regulatory oversight.
Like its US mainland counterparts, judicial, regulatory and government institutions such as the U.S Federal courts, the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), play key roles in protecting Puerto Rican banks and consumers. Puerto Rico, therefore, is a unique captive domicile that offers the advantages of operating from a U.S. territory subject to U.S. rule of law, but considered non-U.S. for taxes purposes. Its approximately 3.5 million residents are all US citizens. Puerto Rico offers captive clients the possibility of operating within a bilingual culture and Caribbean location making it an attractive gateway domicile, particularly to those businesses having U.S. operations and those throughout Latin America.
The Puerto Rico captive insurance industry is proud to form part of a fully U.S. licensed, supported and compliant jurisdiction having robust insurance laws, a strong regulatory presence and a transparent framework in place for captive owners, managers and participants alike. Puerto Rico expects and welcomes prospective captive clients and advisors to do a thorough due diligence of the domicile.