The jurisdiction of choice

The Class of 2020 were attracted to Bermuda by its unique relationships with both the US and Europe, the strength of its regulation and its spirit of innovation, says Roland Andy Burrows, chief executive officer of the Bermuda Business Development Agency.

“Bermuda has a long history of responding swiftly to market dislocations.”
Roland Andy Burrows, BDA

Bermuda has continued to welcome new companies, capital, and investors throughout 2020. Last year, a total of 733 new international companies and partnerships were registered in Bermuda, representing a 7.6 percent increase from 2019. This is hugely significant given the context in which we were operating and the impact COVID-19 had on business decisions.

Throughout the pandemic Bermuda remained open for business. The government and the international business sector all responded quickly and robustly to the challenges presented. This meant people were able to continue participating and engaging with the market, with minimal disruption, and the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) continued to issue new licences in addition to producing new licence classes to support innovation.

The BMA figures show a total of 72 new re/insurance entities established themselves on island in 2020, including five intermediaries. Bermuda’s total re/insurance market now comprises 1,200 re/insurers holding total assets in excess of $980 billion and writing gross premium of approximately $240 billion, underscoring the market’s resilience and continued global significance.

In the last two decades alone Bermuda’s insurers and reinsurers have paid out more than a quarter of a trillion dollars to businesses and consumers.

Truly global

As one of two jurisdictions awarded full equivalence to the EU’s Solvency II regime and one of only three to have earned reciprocal jurisdiction status with the US market from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Bermuda is a truly global market. That level-playing field access is a huge part of Bermuda’s appeal.

Combined with its decades of experience, regulatory oversight, capital efficient regime, speed to market and world-class talent, Bermuda’s value proposition is unique. It remains the world’s best jurisdiction in which to match increasingly complex global risks and capital.

Bermuda has a long history of responding swiftly to market dislocations. The Island saw the creation of new re/insurance companies in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and again following hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in the US in 2005.

While another wave of startups was not expected, by summertime last year discussions had certainly started. Bermuda was being viewed as the prime candidate to provide a home for a new wave of insurers and reinsurers—a Class of 2020—should one emerge in the wake of the pandemic.

As this report highlights, recent market conditions created compelling opportunities and Bermuda has once-again been the jurisdiction of choice for new entrants and a surge of capital to established players. This new wave is focused on property and casualty, the core lines of business Bermuda is known for, with pandemic, climate and cyber risks receiving significant attention.

Bermuda continues to be at the forefront of providing innovative solutions to solve clients’ needs and, with the Class of 2020 extending into 2021, we remain bullish about Bermuda’s future prospects.

Bermuda Business Development Agency

Image: / Petr Kratochvil

Main video: Adobe Stock /

Second video: Envato Elements / videofullness

In association with:

A Bermuda:Re+ILS Special Report