This new policy will be introduced through the issuance of the Regulatory (Amendment) Code, 2021 and the Regulatory (Insurance Code of Conduct) Code, 2021.
They will come into force on July 6.
According to the BVIFSC, the Amendment Code imposes specific requirements on claims handling records that licensed insurers and insurance intermediaries must maintain.
The Amendment Code will substitute Section 59 (2)(a) of the Regulatory Code, 2009 to outline the auditing standards by which licensees’ financial statements must be audited.
Meanwhile, the Insurance code introduces a framework to govern the market conduct of domestic insurers, insurance intermediaries, and loss adjusters.
The principal objective of the framework is to ensure that insurance business in the jurisdiction is conducted with integrity and transparency while treating customers fairly, the BVIFSC stated.
“The Insurance Conduct Code lays out requirements for market conduct, including General Conduct Principles and specific rules for Insurers, Insurance Intermediaries and Loss Adjusters accordingly,” the Commission said in a media release this month.
“The Financial Services Commission says relevant licensees should implement appropriate measures to ensure compliance with the Amendment Code requirements and the Insurance Code of Conduct Code, which can be found on the Commission’s website,” it added.
The code was introduced after consultation with Premier and Minister of Finance, Andrew Fahie. According to the legislative document for the code, its main purpose is to “strengthen public trust and customer confidence” in the BVI’s insurance market.
Another intention behind the code of conduct is to protect policyholders and promote fair customer outcomes.
Other goals behind the code is to “increase transparency within the insurance sector, so as to enhance customers’ understanding of what they can reasonably expect from insurers, insurance intermediaries and loss adjusters”.
“The Insurance Conduct Code is [also] intended to support a sound and resilient insurance sector which allows for competition, whilst maintaining business practices that support the fair treatment of customers,” the legislative document stated.
Meanwhile, the introduction of a code of conduct comes more than three years after several reports of unfairness by local insurers.
These reports had surfaced after the onslaught of 2017 disasters that caused more than $3 billion in damage to property in the BVI. The government at the time was prompted to established an insurance tribunal to settle the many disputes.