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Bermuda Monetary Authority, FLOIR Ink Cooperation Agreement

Bermuda’s reinsurers paid $22 billion to rebuild the US Gulf and Florida coasts from the hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005

The Bermuda Monetary Authority has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR). This is the latest in a number of such agreements that the Authority has signed to formalise existing working relationships and interaction with its regulatory counterparts overseas.

Matthew Elderfield, chief executive officer of Bermuda Monetary Authority and Kevin McCarty, commissioner of Florida Insurance, has signed the MOU. The agreement establishes a formal basis for consultation, cooperation and coordination between the Authority and the FLOIR. It includes the exchange of information relevant to each agency’s supervisory, regulatory and examination responsibilities in relation to insurance companies of mutual interest.

Mr. Elderfield said: “We are very happy to be building on our existing history of cooperation with our colleagues at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation by establishing this MOU. The Bermuda reinsurance market provides a critically significant level of support to Florida based insurers. The MOU means we can assist each other on supervisory matters involving companies of common interest within our respective markets. Taking such actions is in the ultimate interests of policyholders and supports overall stability in the insurance market.”

Commissioner McCarty also welcomed the formalising of relations between the two agencies and said: “Just as we work closely with other state regulators in this country to monitor company solvency and implement consumer protections, we must also increase our cooperation with our international counterparts. As we observed during the downturn in our economy a year ago, America’s insurance markets are systemically intertwined with those of other countries.”

According to data published by the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, Bermuda’s reinsurers paid $22 billion to rebuild the US Gulf and Florida coasts from the hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, and Bermuda carriers currently provide more than 60% of the hurricane reinsurance in Florida and Texas.

By establishing the MOU, both the regulatory bodies formally express their willingness to cooperate with each other in the interest of fulfilling their respective regulatory mandates and functions. The MOU also covers procedures for the regulators to both request and provide investigative assistance, where appropriate, with respect to companies and individuals conducting insurance business in Bermuda and Florida.