Cook Islands legislation allows considerable flexibility in the ability of a licensed Insurance Company to conduct business. The term “insurance business” is given a wide meaning and includes the issuing of, or undertaking of liability under all types of policies of insurance, assurance, reinsurance or indemnity.

The following is a summary of the requirements of the Cook Islands Offshore Insurance Act;

  • The asset backing requirement is a surplus of tangible assets over liabilities of USD100, 000.
  • No part of the surplus or any other funds of the insurance company are required to be retained in the Cook Islands or invested in any particular form of investment.
  • The license is required to submit audited accounts to the Financial Services Commission within six months of the end of its financial year. The auditor must be approved for that purpose by the Commission and registered as a company auditor in the Cook Islands. In the case of a Cook Islands branch of a foreign company, branch account will suffice.
  • The license may, with the consent of the owner of any insurance policy, establish a statutory fund which becomes the sole source of assets to meet any liabilities in respect of that insurance policy.
  • The license is required to transact its business through a registered trust company unless approval is granted to maintain a permanent establishment in the Cook Islands.

Offshore insurance licenses are granted by the Financial Supervisory Commission who reviews the financial and business integrity of the applicant.

The applicant must provide:

  1. Information/documentation to show that the company will be able to maintain sufficient capital taking into account the type of risk that is intended to be covered;
  2. A business plan describing the proposed business of the company. This plan should demonstrate satisfactorily that the company will be able to maintain a sound financial situation and meet its obligations at all times during the first years;
  3. The business plan should include information regarding the types of obligations the company proposes to incur (life insurance) or the types of risk it proposes to cover (non-life insurance). Such a plan should not be restricted to the indication of the classes of the insurance according to accepted classifications. Instead, the nature of the risks should be described. The company should provide information on whether it also proposes to accept re-insurance business, and if so, in which insurance classes;
  4. A description of how and to what extent the expected contracts are to be re-insured. The company should describe how the structures needed to manage the expected portfolio of contracts are to be set up and through which channels (e.g. brokers, agents, distribution outlets);
  5. Provide if possible, a projection of the expected costs for the development of business in the form of model profit and loss accounts;
  6. The suitability of management of the company for the type of business to be undertaken;
  7. Details of applicable laws and regulations of the jurisdiction in which the insurance business is being carried on (and in particular details of how the Insurance business will be supervised in that jurisdiction);
  8. Details of the auditors; and
  9. Appropriate due diligence on the owners and officers of the company as per the attached.

We provide the following services to companies wishing to obtain a Cook Islands offshore insurance license.

  • International company incorporation or foreign company registration, and provision of ongoing administration and company management services.
  • Application for insurance license and liaison with the Commissioner.
  • Assistance establishing a statutory fund and ongoing administration.

Why US (Key Strengths)

  1. We will advise you on the optimal legal structure for your requirements, size, expectations and circumstances. We have extensive knowledge of a wide range of legal structures in all major jurisdictions. (Securities, Banking, Insurance, Investment Management, Gaming and many more)
  2. Valsen will assist to complete every form for each process in the best way we know how (Based on our many years’ experience with various regulators and service providers across the world)
  3. We are very hands on in the post filing period checking with re regulator and service providers and updating you regularly. Any queries raised by the regulators and service providers during processing will be quickly synthesized by us and we shall craft the right responses to move the process forward fast.
  4. We can provide you with fit and proper directors in case you need. We have a wide network of qualified and experienced lawyers, chartered accountants, chartered financial analysts, wealth managers, FX experts, Investment advisors etc. of international pedigree.
  5. We have a full in-house compliance support for all compliance requirements with the regulator and service providers
  6. Through our extensive network, we provide sign up services with major service providers including but not limited to; Liquidity providers, technology providers, custodians, prime brokers, legal advisors, auditors, payment gateway providers among others.