Centre Stage: Bermuda's Role In An Insurtech Revolution

Published date07 October 2022
Subject MatterCorporate/Commercial Law, Insurance, Technology, Corporate and Company Law, Insurance Laws and Products, Fin Tech
Law FirmAppleby
AuthorMs Josephine Noddings

Bermuda is rapidly becoming a focus for insurtechs seeking the island's expertise, the accessibility of capital and its regulatory regime. This roundtable discussion hosted by Appleby explored the growth and health of the insurtech sector on Bermuda.

Q1: WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AND PERSPECTIVE WHEN IT COMES TO INSURTECHS ON BERMUDA?

Devon Sherman: I am wearing a couple of different hats today. One is as an advisor to Cactus, an insurtech startup based here in Bermuda, which has created an easy-to-use pricing and data capture system for underwriters and brokers.

I also have experience launching startup accelerator programmes in the US and I am advising on what accelerator models have the greatest potential to meaningfully grow the innovation ecosystem on the Island.

Josephine Noddings: I sit in the Insurance and Reinsurance team at Appleby, advising on the formation, structuring and regulation of insurance and reinsurance companies. I also sit on our global Technology and Innovation team.

We work on that team with clients that are looking at doing things in technology, helping them understand how the Bermuda regime applies to them, so I sit on both sides of the fence.

Our technology clients are using insurance and our insurance clients are using technology.

Heather Kitson: I'm Bermudian and been in the re/insurance industry for 22 years working in the London and Bermuda Markets in various roles including in the insurtech space. I am currently director of ReFlex Solutions which is a technology-focused reinsurance brokerage looking to bring greater trust, transparency and technology-driven efficiencies to the market, together with innovative new insurance products.

Ari Chatterjee: I am the chief underwriting officer and co-founder of Envelop Risk, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based reinsurtech. We have a native AI which lets us structure and price cyber reinsurance better than that available in traditional markets. We have written close to $500 million of business over the last five years. We have also set up our own class 3 insurer here: Augmented Re.

We believe underwriting will become more human+AI rather than pure human. We have seen the benefits of that'we have fairly and squarely beaten the market performance by using analytics. That is much attributable to the quality of the data we have that enables us to make better decisions.

Sandra DeSilva: I've been in the re/insurance industry for 20 years and chief executive officer of insurance technology development consultancy, Nova, for 16 years. I have provided strategic IT solutions for multiple class 4 startup re/insurance companies and I've advised several recently launched insurtech companies, including appointment as a board member.

James Ferris: Through my time with PwC and now with BMS I've had a strong view that technological development in the insurance industry needs supporting. When the BMA was developing its Sandbox, I provided some of my experience from discussions with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.

At BMS we have the skillsets to support all aspects of the insurance industry including insurtech and have experienced teams in the UK and the US as well as Bermuda that are active in terms of raising capital for the sector.

Mitchell Klink: I'm an associate partner in the consulting part of EY. In addition to the audit and tax work that most people in the market are familiar with, we help a lot of startups in this space. We help people get through their regulatory risk, their actuarial work. We have one of the largest actuarial teams on the Island. We partner with our US and UK practices connecting insurtechs to our traditional clients, helping them understand the landscape of insurtechs. And we have put together a composite solution called Nexus, which is built from a combination of insurtechs.

Adam Adamson: I'm the head of business development at Nayms. I have been on Bermuda for 14 years. I have worked at Artex Risk Transfer, Aon and Marsh.

Nayms is a crypto native insurance marketplace formed here in Bermuda utilising a segregated account company structure which allows us to effectively build a hybrid model around the current insurance-linked securities (ILS) marketplace.

It reflects what Lloyd's has created so effectively: Nayms is a play on the Lloyd's Names, which has worked so well for Lloyd's for the last 400 years.

We bring third party capital providers, underwriters and other entities to our platform to transact insurance business, but in a crypto native way. We operate using blockchain, utilising smart contracts embedded into each individual segregated account cell.

We're agnostic in terms of what types of coverage we can write. Our focus is predominantly the digital asset space and that lends itself to people who want to transact in a crypto native manner.

We basically create the infrastructure and, courtesy of the wonderful people at the BMA, we carry the licence. That allows us to do the insurance business based here in Bermuda.

Darren Wolfberg: I am the co-founder and CEO of Blockchain Triangle. We are a digital finance platform for environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) infrastructure and climate compliance. We operate using blockchain, for digital securitisation and for climate compliance.

George Alayon: I lead the insurance innovation team at the BMA. I am responsible for the end-to-end process from the licence application stage to supervision to graduation until these companies obtain their full licence.

In Adam's company's case, they went the Sandbox route; it took them two years to graduate. Now they are a fully licensed insurer. I also review our regulatory framework. The legislation is constantly updated almost every year, sometimes twice or three times a year, to cater to all these emerging risks.

I have been in this space since 2017, but I have been at the BMA for about seven years. I helped on the digital asset business legislation back in 2018 when we were still building it; now, we have a dedicated team. My focus is mainly on where digital assets meet or converge with insurance.

Q2: WHY IS BERMUDA INCREASINGLY ATTRACTIVE TO INSURTECH COMPANIES?

George Alayon: We pride ourselves on being a credible regulator. We know the market, and we focus on making sure that we create space where entities can prudently innovate. We have three routes that companies can take.

We have the innovation hub, which is for the non-licensable activities, those that do not need a licence from the BMA; we have the Sandbox for those that are not quite market-ready and still testing. Then, we have the full licences available for those that already have the capital and expertise to create a viable business.

Josephine Noddings: Bermuda as a regulator is well renowned, well established and gives real credibility to people that are licensed under that. Bermuda is at...

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