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Insurers In Andorra. World Insurance Companies Logos
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Andorra Insurance Sector Background

Executive Summary

Supervision of insurance in this country meets neither the needs of the industry nor international expectations.

 There is a general consensus in government and industry that lost business opportunities are lost, and the image abroad of Andorra’s financial governance suffers, a new regulatory framework for insurance is urgently needed.

 The future framework should be in line with EU legislation and the principles of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).

While the insurance sector is still small, in 2005 there was a substantial transfer of funds from bank deposits to live assurance contracts with a savings component.

This trend may continue and it is important that the solvency regime addresses any guaranteed returns and embedded options in those products. 

There should also be enhanced disclosure of life insurers’ past investment performance to allow informed investment decisions.

Furthermore, the close interaction of insurers with banks and investment funds within bank dominated  conglomerates calls for a robust regulatory framework, enforced by a competent supervisor.

It provides another compelling reason for allocation of the required resources.

Building adequate te regulatory capacity to enhance supervision in these areas should commence without delay.

Against this background, the transfer of insurance supervision of the Ministry of Finance (MF) to the Institut Nacional Andorrà de Finances (INAF), the agency responsible for the supervision of the financial sector, is essential.

 There is recognition that the statutory requirement to the table in the General Council regulations for the integration of insurance supervision in INAF should be acted upon, to catalyze change.

In parallel, elaboration of a new insurance supervision law ought to be given priority in the Authorities’ legislative program. 

The previous draft does not appear to meet the standards expected of an advanced financial center like Andorra’s.

-2 The new effort is needed to substantiate, inter alia, prudential, internal control, the conduct of business, policyholder protection, public disclosure and international cooperation requirements of appropriate scope and nature, and enhance the supervisor’s disciplinary powers, up to current international norms and practice.

In the meantime, the Authorities would do well to instruct external auditors to produce additional reports’ for insurers

As is already the case in other sectors, such reports should include opinions on policies, systems, and processes—notably internal control—and become an effective requirement for insurers.

Similarly, a common chart of accounts should be adopted and implemented for underwrites as soon as possible​

Economy of Andorra

​Economy of Andorra. Tourism, the mainstay of Andorra’s tiny, well-to-do economy, accounts for roughly 80% of GDP.

An estimated 10.2 million tourists visit annually, attracted by Andorra’s duty-free status and by its summer and winter resorts.

Andorra’s relative advantage has recently[when?] eroded as the economies of adjoining France and Spain have been opened up, providing broader availability of goods and lower tariffs.

One of the main sources of income in this nation is tourism from ski resorts, which total over 175 km (109 mi) of ski ground.

The sport brings in over 7 million visitors and an estimated 340 million euros per year, sustaining 2000 direct and 10000 indirect jobs at present.

The banking sector, with its tax haven status, also contributes substantially to the economy (the financial and insurance sector accounts for approximately 19% of GDP).

The financial system comprises five banking groups, one specialized credit entity, 8 investment undertaking management entities, 3 asset management companies and 29 insurance companies, 14 of which are branches of foreign underwriters authorized to operate in the principality.

Agricultural production is limited—only 2% of the land is arable—and most food has to be imported. Some tobacco is grown locally.

The principal livestock activity is domestic sheep raising. Manufacturing output consists mainly of cigarettes, cigars, and furniture.

Andorra’s natural resources include hydroelectric power, mineral water, timber, iron ore, and lead.

This country has traditionally had one of the world’s lowest unemployment rates. In 2009 it stood at 2.9%.

On 31 May 2013, it was announced that Andorra intended to legislate for the introduction of an income tax by the end of June, against a background of increasing dissatisfaction with the existence of tax havens among EU members.
​From Wikipedia.

Andorra, Europe – World Insurance Companies Logos.

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