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RIMS supports proposed US-EU insurance agreement

RIMS supports proposed US-EU insurance agreement

The Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. said Wednesday that it has sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin voicing its support for the proposed covered agreement reached between the United States and the European Union.

The letter, signed by RIMS President Nowell Seaman, comes out in favor of the covered agreement deal, which was announced on Jan. 13, because of “the provisions that improve affordability and availability of reinsurance.”

“In addition,” the letter continues, “provisions related to disputes are also beneficial to our members who do business with EU member countries and who have an international
business presence.”

The covered agreement deal, negotiated by the Treasury Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, seeks to address the issue that the European Commission has not deemed the United States an equivalent jurisdiction, per the E.U.’s Solvency II directive outlining a risk-based capital regime for insurers and reinsurers in Europe.

The agreement calls for an end to collateral and local presence requirements for EU and U.S. reinsurers. While risk managers are not directly affected by the agreement, Mr. Seaman wrote that “they will benefit indirectly via additional capital that would otherwise be tied up in
collateral requirements as well as from increased reinsurance capacity.” 

“This could have a positive impact on competition and prices for reinsurance,” Mr. Seaman wrote. “Risk managers would also benefit in the event of disputes with a non-local assuming insurer. By requirements to be eligible for the benefits of the agreement, such insurers must appoint insurance commissioners for service of process, agree to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts, and agree to recognize and pay final judgments of U.S. courts.”

Mr. Seaman said in a statement that RIMS “is encouraged by the U.S.-EU Covered Agreement on reinsurance and looks forward to working with the Department of the Treasury to help bring this agreement to fruition.”

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