Hong Kong ILS regulatory regime effective, ironing out implementation details

ARTEMIS: Changes to Hong Kong’s insurance and reinsurance market regulation came into effect on March 29th, including the new regulatory regime for insurance-linked securities (ILS) business.

The Insurance Authority (IA) of Hong Kong has been working hard to put in place the necessary regulatory and tax regime for insurance-linked securities (ILS) issuance and business to be undertaken in the the Special Administrative Region.

As we previously explained, the Government of Hong Kong revealed its plans for an ILS grant scheme that will cover around US $1.6 million of costs for issuers and sponsors.

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Peak Re: Bridging the protection gap in emerging markets

Large and getting larger: Emerging Asia’s protection gaps

The prevalence of under-insurance and non-insurance in emerging markets is well-documented.[1] The proverbial protection gap persists across different risks, from property to health and mortality, variously also extending to include longevity and liability. There are many reasons underpinning the large protection gap and low insurance penetration in emerging markets, which can be summarised as the “Triple-A Conundrum” – i.e. lack of Accessibility, Affordability and Awareness.[2] These are considered key impediments to deepen insurance penetration in emerging markets including those in the Asia-Pacific region.

Empirical research on protection gaps has been stymied by a lack of data and standard definitions. In fact, different protection gaps are measured differently. For the property including natural catastrophe (nat cat) protection gap, it is measured in most cases as the difference between economic and insured losses over a period.[3] Mortality protection gap is the short-fall in household financial assets to sustain the living of surviving family members, in case of pre-mature death of the household breadwinner. The more challenging health protection gap is sometimes gauged by out-of-pocket expenses, while some estimates also consider the risk of catastrophic medical bills and non-treatment because of affordability and other reasons.

Notwithstanding the capriciousness of definitions and a dearth of data, empirical research is pointing to large protection gaps in emerging markets.[4] The gaps are of particular concern in emerging Asia, due to the region’s large population and fast economic growth. For instance, it is estimated that emerging Asia accounted for around 40% of the global health and mortality protection gaps, and some 20% of the nat cat protection gap.[5] The gaps are also widening. With property and nat cat protection gap, the rise in asset values particularly in disaster-prone coastal regions has outpaced the growth of insurance cover. This could have aggravated by increasing frequency and severity of calamities. Life-style considerations, rising medical inflation and aging population are some of the factors behind a widening health and mortality protection gap in emerging Asia. While the region has witnessed sustained strong life premium growth over the past decades, much of which is believed to be savings-type insurance policies.

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Hong Kong’s ILS grant scheme to cover ~US $1.6m of issuance costs

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Hong Kong’s Government has revealed some of the details of its proposed insurance-linked securities (ILS) grant scheme, through which it will pay a share of issuance costs for any ILS structures issued out of the Special Administrative Region.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HK SAR) of the People’s Republic of China has been preparing to allow insurance-linked securities (ILS) issuance from its financial market for a number of years now, seeking to establish itself as a venue for the issuance of catastrophe bonds and other reinsurance linked instruments.

The Hong Kong Government’s Legislative Council passed the Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2020 on July 17th and later said it was targeting a full introduction of the new ILS regulatory regime by the end of 2020 or early 2021.

Jamaica: World Bank cat bond still underway. Gets CCRIF rainfall payout for Zeta & Eta

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Jamaica continues to work with the World Bank on a first catastrophe bond for the country the Finance Ministry has said and reflecting the importance of disaster risk financing, in recent weeks it has received a roughly $3.5 million payout under its parametric CCRIF insurance coverage.

The payout comes after the torrential rainfall from tropical cyclones Zeta and Eta impacted the Caribbean island nation triggered the parametric excess rainfall protection that Jamaica has.

The CCRIF SPC (formerly known as the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) provides excess rainfall parametric insurance coverage, as well as parametric risk transfer for peak perils such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

World Bank supports Central Asia Multi-Peril Risk Assessment

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Central Asian countries will benefit from a better understanding of their natural disaster risks, which in time could lead to greater use of risk transfer, insurance and reinsurance capacity in the region, as the World Bank supports a multi-peril risk assessment project for the region.

One of the first steps in moving towards sovereign disaster risk transfer, such as use of insurance, reinsurance or catastrophe bond type arrangements, tends to be in the development of risk modelling tools to enhance the understanding of exposures in a country.

To that end, the World Bank, alongside its partners, has launched an initiative to provide a multi-peril risk assessment of natural disaster risks, including earthquakes, floods and selected landslides within the Central Asia region.

Indonesia cat bond possible, as World Bank lends for disaster insurance

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The World Bank has approved $500 million of funding for Indonesia to help the country enhance its financial response to natural disasters, climate risks, and health-related shocks, with the use of risk pooling, and insurance or reinsurance instruments at the heart of the plan.

Between 2014 and 2018, the central government of Indonesia has spent between US$90 million and US$500 million annually on disaster response and recovery, the World Bank explained, while Indonesia’s local governments spent an estimated additional $250 million over the same period.

With the cost of natural disasters and severe weather events expected to keep increasing further due to climate change and also urban growth, the World Bank notes that these costs will pressure Indonesia’s government public spending.

Tre Hapa për të Ndihmuar Shqipërinë për të Përballuar Ndikimet Financiare të Shkaktuara nga Fatkeqësitë dhe Krizat

PUBLIKIMI I PLOT ORIGJINAL KTU

Në vitin 2019, Shqipëria u përball me një seri tërmetesh, ndër të cilët edhe një me magnitudë të lartë; më pas, mes përpjekjeve për rindërtim në vitin 2020, u godit edhe nga pandemia COVID-19. E përballur me nevojat e shumta në rritje, mbështetja e qeverisë shqiptare shkoi për të varfërit dhe personat e prekur nga fatkeqësitë dhe krizat, përfshirë këtu edhe bizneset. Për ta realizuar këtë, ajo shfrytëzoi rezervat fiskale, rishpërndau buxhetet për përparësitë urgjente dhe u mbështet tek ndihma e jashtme. Shumë nga këto masa u ndërmorën në bazë të nevojës.

Në shtator 2020, Banka Botërore së bashku me Ministrinë e Financave dhe Ekonomisë,  kreu vlerësimin diagnostikues në lidhje me financimin e riskut të fatkeqësive në Shqipëri.[1] Kjo përpjekje kishte për qëllim identifikimin e mangësive të financimit të mekanizmave për gatishmërinë financiare të vendit në rast fatkeqësish dhe rekomandimin e mënyrave për përmirësimin e tyre.

Menaxhimi i riskut të fatkeqësive është ndër përparësitë kryesore të politikave në Republikën e Shqipërisë dhe, pak kohë para tërmetit, qeveria shqiptare kreu edhe një seri reformash në këtë drejtim, si për shembull: miratimi i Ligjit të ri për Mbrojtjen Civile, racionalizimi i kornizave institucionale, decentralizimi i funksioneve që aktivizohen pas fatkeqësive dhe vënia në dispozicion e strukturave të nevojshme për fondet e emergjencës në nivel vendor dhe në nivel ministrie të linjës.

Three Steps to Help Albania Withstand the Financial Impacts of Disasters and Crises

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In 2019, Albania experienced a series of earthquakes, including a major one; then, amid reconstruction efforts in 2020, it was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Confronting multiple increasing needs, the government of Albania supported the poor and those affected by disasters and crises, including businesses. To do so, it tapped into its fiscal reserves, reallocated budgets toward urgent priorities, and relied on external assistance. Many of these measures were ad hoc.

In September 2020, jointly with Albania’s Ministry of Finance and Economy, the World Bank completed a diagnostic of disaster risk finance in Albania[1]. This effort sought to identify financing gaps in—and recommend ways to improve—the country’s financial preparedness for disasters.

Disaster risk management is among Albania’s key policy priorities, and the Albanian government carried out a series of reforms shortly before the earthquake: for instance, it enacted a new Law on Civil Protection, streamlined institutional frameworks, decentralized post-disaster functions, and put in place structures for contingency funds at the local and line ministry level.