Last month, the Federal Insurance Office (“FIO”) issued its Annual Report for 2015. The Report discusses many financial consumer protection and regulatory issues, both domestic and international, relating to the business of insurance. The Report has relatively little discussion of reinsurance, largely tracking the topics discussed in the FIO’s December 2014 report on the global reinsurance market. The 2015 Annual Report discusses three topics of interest to the reinsurance sector:
- Regulation of captives: Regulation of captives is discussed mainly in terms of the NAIC’s work on a captive framework and the adoption of principal-based reserves. The Report is critical of the limitation of the captive framework to cessions of reserves for term life insurance and universal life insurance with secondary guarantees, and the “uncertain timeframe for its implementation ….” See Report at 59. The FIO previously identified the regulation of captives as a topic in which it is interested and may take action, although it has not exposed any proposal relating to captives.
- Credit for reinsurance: The Report is critical of the slow progress on credit for reinsurance reform and notes that the United States and the European Union are in the preliminary stages of discussions of what the Dodd-Frank Act referred to as a covered agreement on that topic. The Report states that “[b]y statute [the Dodd-Frank Act], USTR [United States Trade Representative] and FIO must give notice to Congress of the intent to commence negotiations. That notice is expected in the coming weeks.” See Report at 81 and Recommendation at Appendix, page vii.
- Alternative risk transfers: The Report contains a brief discussion of the abundance of capital in the reinsurance sector and the rapid growth of alternative risk transfers such as insurance-linked securities (including cat bonds), industry-loss warranties, collateralized reinsurance and sidecars. The Report does not contain any opinions or recommendations with respect to this topic. See Report at page 42.