A well-established sector to serve both the local and regional markets.
The insurance sector in Mauritius is well developed and has in recent years witnessed steady growth. The supervision of insurance business is conducted by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) under the Insurance Act 2005 in accordance with international standards since the FSC is a member of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and of the Committee of Insurance, Securities, and Non-Banking Financial Authorities (CISNA).
The current regulatory framework has many strong elements, including reliance on solvency monitoring, prudent asset diversification, international accounting standards, and actuarial methods. The FSC is the governing body which grants business licenses under the Insurance category. The FSC has, as at December 2020, granted 15 general insurance business licences and licensed 7 long-term insurers, excluding BAI Co (Mtius) Ltd (which is under special administration since 2015).
There is no minimum requirement for investment in Government securities. As per Regulations 7(1) of the Insurance Regulations 2007, an insurer shall at all times keep invested in Mauritius an amount of at least 50 percent and may invest outside Mauritius an amount not exceeding 50 percent of its technical provisions in respect of insurance business in Mauritius. Regulations 7(1) of the Insurance Regulations 2007 does not apply to external insurer.
The industry offers three main product lines, Life, General and Reinsurance and these are covered by a total of 23 Insurance companies registered in Mauritius with the top three securing a market share of 74%. According to the World Bank, its large and medium-sized insurance companies are “efficient and strong”, operating with high efficiency and reasonable profitability.
Life Insurance premiums make up some 58% of total premiums.
Non-Life - There is sustained demand for motor and property insurance products and the healthcare category in Mauritius recorded fast growth, mainly driven by rising healthcare expenditure and an aging population.
The insurance business is largely private sector owned. Domestic insurance market is increasingly controlled by few major players, namely in the long-term insurance business. With its large and medium sized companies, the insurance industry is well established, efficient, financially strong and highly profitable.
The insurance market is relatively small yet dynamic, and is best characterised by emerging opportunities for growth.
Given its modern regulatory framework and vast pool of actuarial, insurance and brokerage experts, Mauritius is well established to serve both the local and regional markets.
The country’s business environment and investment climate has made it one of the most business-friendly destinations. This has helped to position Mauritius as an important platform between Asia, the Middle East and Africa for investment into the African continent.
The numerous business opportunities it offers contribute largely to further develop the insurance sector.
Onshore and Offshore Insurance
Mauritius enjoys one of the highest insurance penetration ratios in Africa and is well positioned to further develop the insurance sector. The insurance market offers customers a comprehensive range of products and solutions and provides financial planning to meet their demands and investment goals. A palette of insurance products for both corporates and individuals is available, which includes, life insurance, general insurance, health, education, motor vehicles, travel and marine insurance. Moreover, specialized insurance products such as property and liability insurance, directors and officer’s liability, employers’ liability, third party liability amongst others are also provided.
Retirement Schemes to Foreigners
The Private Pension Schemes Act 2012 (PPSA 2012) was enacted almost nine years ago after a decade-long process around legislative reforms of the private pension sector. Promulgation of the PPSA 2012 was also the right step towards showing Mauritius’s commitment to making the financial services sector well legislated in line with the norms and standards of the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS) and the OECD Guidelines on governance. The aim was to modernise and strengthen supervision of occupational pension funds in Mauritius so as to meet international standards. The regulatory objectives are inter alia as follows:
- Maintain a fair, safe, stable and efficient private pension industry for the benefit and protection of beneficiaries;
- Ensure fair treatment to beneficiaries; and
- Mitigate the risk that pension business is used for a purpose connected with a financial crime.
The Act also lays down requirements as regards to the types of private pension schemes. To this end, the Mauritius IFC offers two distinct retirement products targeting specifically foreigners as follows:
- Foreign Pension Scheme; and
- External Pension Scheme.
Both the above mentioned pension products are market-based Unit Link schemes. The External Pension Scheme also provides the opportunity for pension savers within this segment to take advantage of the numerous benefits available upon being licensed in the Mauritius IFC.
i. Regulatory Authority
The Financial Services Commission, Mauritius (FSC) is the integrated regulator for the non-bank financial services sector and global business. Established in 2001, the FSC is mandated under the Financial Services Act 2007 and has as enabling legislations the Securities (Central Depository, Clearing and Settlement) Act 1996, the Securities Act 2005, the Insurance Act 2005, the Private Pension Schemes Act 2012, the Captive Insurance Act 2015 and the Trust Act 2001 to license, regulate, monitor and supervise the conduct of business activities in these sectors.
- Insurance Act 2005
- Captive Insurance Act 2015
- Private Pension Schemes Act 2012
The Bonus-Malus System
The Government of Mauritius, in its 2020-2024 programme, announced new measures to further develop a conducive FinTech eco-system in Mauritius in order to sustain the economic growth and consolidate our image as an international financial centre of good repute.
In order to build a peaceful, safe and secure Mauritius, the Bonus-Malus concept shall be introduced. The system encompasses a variable premium for drivers in Mauritius such that good drivers shall be compensated through discounted premiums whilst bad drivers shall be penalised by incurring higher premiums, thus making drivers more accountable for their actions.
The FSC has taken the lead to implement the National Insurance Claims Database which will allow operationalisation of the Bonus-Malus System.
The FSC will host the National Insurance Claims Database, to:
a) support the development of a sustainable and profitable insurance sector;
b) enhance transparency in the claims management process; and
c) lay the foundations for a centralized record of claims history, leading to the subsequent introduction of the Bonus-Malus system.
Long term insurance business: The long term insurance industry generated a total gross premium of MUR 11.6 bn in 2021 as compared to MUR 10.5 bn in 2020. Total assets of long term insurers reached MUR 106 bn in 2021 as compared to MUR 87.6 bn in 2020.
General Insurance business: The total assets of insurers underwriting general insurance business increased over the years to reach MUR 11.8 bn in 2021, compared to MUR 11.1 bn in 2020. Likewise, the gross premium in respect of general insurance business for the year 2021 amounted to MUR 23.6 bn as compared to MUR 21.2 bn in 2020.
- Insurance Act 2005
- List of Insurance Companies
- Regulations under Insurance Act
- Application Forms
- Private Pension Schemes Act 2012