Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Signs Information-Sharing Agreement with Bermuda Counterpart
Sep 24, 2009
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“OIR”) announced today, September 24, that it has signed an information-sharing agreement with its Bermuda counterpart, the Bermuda Monetary Authority, that will serve to coordinate insurance regulatory oversight issues affecting consumers in both Bermuda and Florida. To view a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding between the organizations, click here.
The OIR press release on the Bermuda Monetary Authority agreement is reprinted below.
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Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and Bermuda Regulator Sign International Cooperation Agreement
Thursday, September 24, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty today announced the Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) and the Bermuda Monetary Authority (Authority) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU commits both parties to work together to share critical information and to coordinate regulatory activities affecting consumers in Bermuda and Florida. This agreement follows similar Office MOU’s with the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority and Germany’s regulator BaFin earlier this year.
The Authority regulates financial institutions including insurance companies and insurance intermediaries in Bermuda. Although the Office and the Authority have worked together in the past, this agreement will give each regulatory agency a formal procedure for cooperation and coordination. It provides for the exchange of information relevant to each agency’s supervisory, regulatory and examination responsibilities and, where appropriate, investigative assistance with insurance companies and intermediaries.
“Just as we work closely with other state regulators in this country to monitor company solvency and implement consumer protections, we must also increase communication and cooperation with our international counterparts,” said Commissioner McCarty. “As we observed during the downturn of our economy a year ago, America’s insurance markets are systemically intertwined with those of other countries.”
Matthew Elderfield, Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, also touted the benefits of formalizing relations between the two regulators and said, “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.”
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 percent of the hurricane reinsurance in Florida and Texas.
Members of the Office have been regular participants in international organizations of insurance and financial regulators, including the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, the Joint Forum, and insurance group Supervisory Colleges.
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