BVI News

BVIFSC introduces Code of Conduct for insurers

The BVI Financial Services Commission (BVIFSC) has introduced an Insurance Code of Conduct to ensure insurance business in the BVI is conducted with integrity, transparency and fairness to clients.

This new policy will be introduced through the issuance of the Regulatory (Amendment) Code, 2021 and the Regulatory (Insurance Code of Conduct) Code, 2021. 

They will come into force on July 6.

According to the BVIFSC, the Amendment Code imposes specific requirements on claims handling records that licensed insurers and insurance intermediaries must maintain.

The Amendment Code will substitute Section 59 (2)(a) of the Regulatory Code, 2009 to outline the auditing standards by which licensees’ financial statements must be audited.

The Insurance Code of Conduct

Meanwhile, the Insurance code introduces a framework to govern the market conduct of domestic insurers, insurance intermediaries, and loss adjusters.

The principal objective of the framework is to ensure that insurance business in the jurisdiction is conducted with integrity and transparency while treating customers fairly, the BVIFSC stated.

“The Insurance Conduct Code lays out requirements for market conduct, including General Conduct Principles and specific rules for Insurers, Insurance Intermediaries and Loss Adjusters accordingly,” the Commission said in a media release this month. 

“The Financial Services Commission says relevant licensees should implement appropriate measures to ensure compliance with the Amendment Code requirements and the Insurance Code of Conduct Code, which can be found on the Commission’s website,” it added.

Consultation with Premier

The code was introduced after consultation with Premier and Minister of Finance, Andrew Fahie. According to the legislative document for the code, its main purpose is to “strengthen public trust and customer confidence” in the BVI’s insurance market.

Another intention behind the code of conduct is to protect policyholders and promote fair customer outcomes.

Other goals behind the code is to “increase transparency within the insurance sector, so as to enhance customers’ understanding of what they can reasonably expect from insurers, insurance intermediaries and loss adjusters”. 

“The Insurance Conduct Code is [also] intended to support a sound and resilient insurance sector which allows for competition, whilst maintaining business practices that support the fair treatment of customers,” the legislative document stated.

Meanwhile, the introduction of a code of conduct comes more than three years after several reports of unfairness by local insurers.

These reports had surfaced after the onslaught of 2017 disasters that caused more than $3 billion in damage to property in the BVI. The government at the time was prompted to established an insurance tribunal to settle the many disputes.

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7 Comments

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  1. Good News says:

    That is welcoming news. I would like to see upgrades on legislation governing the banks next.

    Despite the Leader of our country begging and pleading with them to work with the clients through this pandemic. It seems like he has been scoffed at by at least one who it seems have their agenda cast in stone.

  2. Rubber Duck says:

    One area of business that does need regulation. Especially after the performance of one company, we all know which one, after Irma.

    Anywhere but BVI they would have been closed down.

  3. Expert says:

    With respect, what is desperately needed is domestic insurance legislation, something the territory does not have.
    Every state in the US has domestic insurance legislation which controls what insurance companies may write in terms of business, and, ensure that insurers policies conform with each states insurance legislation. That way, when a policy holder disputes a claim, the states insurance Commissioner and courts determine whether the respective insurance company is abiding by it’s policy wording. Currently in the BVI there is no government regulatory control over insurance companies writing domestic business.

    • Hambone says:

      Rubbish! The FSC has an Enforcement Division and there is an Insurance Appeal Tribunal for the very purpose you outlined. Do some research before spouting from some US article.

      • Expert says:

        Let me assure you I know far more about the subject than you will ever know. The insurance Tribunal has zero legal properties, it can do nothing if an insurer elects not to pay a claim. Likewise, there is no legislation that can order an insurer writing local business to pay a claim.

  4. Lodger says:

    Why has the Insurance Regulator told my health insurance company that they can no longer cover me in BVI? Said to be due Brexit?

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