For the roughly 1,300 insurance and reinsurance companies based in Bermuda, the nation’s climate has more to do with its welcoming financial environment than the islands’ idyllic weather. The high quality of life in Bermuda is buttressed by a very healthy reinsurance and international business sector that pumps hundreds of millions of dollars into the country each year, making it one of the world’s top players. And with an industry that’s grown largely as an extension of the U.S. insurance base, the fact that New York is just a short flight away only adds to the convenience of doing business in Bermuda. Bermuda’s insurance relationships send figures into the stratosphere. Many corporate policies instituted here don’t even take effect until after the first $100 million in losses. Bermuda’s lighthanded approach towards regulation means a customised relationship between involved parties, easing the process of making policy changes and instituting new coverage. Policy changes that may take months or arguably years to work out elsewhere can often be accomplished in a matter of days or weeks. U.S.corporations first set their sights on Bermuda for insurance purposes just after World War II. But it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that companies — including ACE Bermuda Insurance, Ltd. — gained footing. Bermuda’s upstarts of the 1980s have now become some of the biggest players in the industry, even acquiring companies in the U.S. and Europe. The largest players include XL Capital, with assets over $47 billion, followed by Everest Re Group and PartnerRe. For parties both in Bermuda and abroad looking for a reinsurer that’s able to take on enormous risk while managing to work out coverage kinks, Bermuda is the obvious choice. The thriving wealth in the country’s insurance sector means a bright future for all.
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