The Financial Stability Institute of the Bank for International Settlements issued its 4th Brief
on Insurance Regulatory Measures in Response to COVID-19. The highlights of the brief are as follows:
Currently, insurers are more likely to experience losses from financial market volatility than from higher insurance claims arising from Covid-19. Few insurance supervisors have seen a need to strengthen or adjust prudential requirements to insulate insurers from current financial market uncertainties.
So far, authorities have responded mainly by taking measures to provide operational relief to insurers from regulatory and supervisory requirements so that they can continue providing insurance services. These measures will also help insurers to enhance risk monitoring of their Covid-19 financial exposures.
Some authorities have set out expectations for insurers to conserve capital through prudent exercise of dividend and variable remuneration policies. The aim is to enhance their resilience against huge uncertainties from potential Covid-19 fallout. Other capital-related measures should relieve supervisory pressures and reduce the tendency of insurers to manage their investments in a procyclical manner. These measures include: extending the supervisory intervention ladder, triggering the countercyclical lever and recalibrating capital requirements.
The far-reaching impact of Covid-19 calls for sustained vigilance by both supervisors and insurers. In the post-pandemic phase, the extraordinary measures currently warranted will need to be unwound through a carefully crafted exit strategy that preserves sound risk management practices and protects policyholders' interests.