A centre of expertise
The Bahamas possesses an outstanding infrastructure for commercial and industrial activity, and offers a highly-skilled workforce. The professional community of accountants, international bankers, trustees, and investment specialists is large, diverse and highly skilled. There is also a full complement of respected and experienced law firms. An available pool of well-qualified international and Bahamian financial services professionals means The Bahamas can offer long-term working relationships with resident expertise.
A financial centre
The Bahamas has been a major player in international financial services since the1930s. With its historic commitment to providing high quality services to families that span the globe, The Bahamas is one of the world’s foremost wealth management centres. It services a global client base with a full range of private banking, estate planning, asset management, and insurance and fund administration services. The combination of a common law legal environment with an advantageous tax system makes the Bahamas a well suited location for establishing life insurance policies, trusts and foundations.
A strong asset protection regime
The External Insurance Act, 2009 provides for the establishment of segregated accounts by an external insurance company conducting “variable insurance business”. The assets of a client held in any such segregated or separate account will not form any part of the liability of the insurance company. Accordingly, in the event of liquidation of an external insurance company licensed under the Act, the client’s assets will not form a part of the general assets of the insurance company and therefore will not be available to creditors of the insurance company.
Life insurance and annuities are excellent wealth management instruments both for tax planning as well as asset protection. Private placement life insurance and annuity policies provide qualified investors with the opportunity to invest in more tailored investment solutions and to react quickly to changes in the market landscape. Due to the robust asset protection laws of The Bahamas and its geographic location, The Bahamas is an ideal jurisdiction from which to operate a private placement life insurance company.
The regulations also restrict the distribution of any assets held under a policy of insurance issued on the life of the policy holder or another person to any third party not designated in the policy, and further make the proceeds of such policy exempt from the claims of any creditor of the policyholder, or the insured, and of any other beneficiary.
In addition, the External Insurance Act has incorporated the asset protection mechanism set out in the Fraudulent Disposition Act, which provides the basis for offshore protection of trust assets, by providing the specific circumstances in which an action may be pursued by a creditor of a policy holder who hopes to be paid out of the assets of the separate account held by the licensee for the benefit of such policyholder. A creditor may make a claim to attach rights or interests in the policy only where: (i) the purchase of the policy was made with the intent to willfully defeat an obligation owed to the creditor by the policy holder; or (ii) proceedings in bankruptcy have been commenced by or against a policy holder at the date of the purchase of the policy or within three months of the date of the purchase of the policy.
Independent regulated experts
Premium Life offers Private Placement Life Insurance (PPLI) solutions using the services of independent qualified service providers for key ancillary services within the insurance contract. This includes the custodian bank, the investment manager and the reinsurer.
Premium Life is authorised and regulated by the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas (the “ICB” at www.icb.gov.bs). The ICB is responsible for the supervision of the insurance sector in The Bahamas and is a member of the International Association of the Insurance Supervisors (www.iaisweb.org). The ICB monitors Premium Life’s solvency and performs regular on-site inspections.