Every jurisdiction has its own laws and classes of individual licenses which offer some of the below listed forms of licenses:
- General Unrestricted Offshore License: a full international offshore license, basically has no restricted activity. It allows to insure, secure insurance or re-insure without limitation, including life policies or policies for other insurance companies from offshore or onshore.
- Restricted Offshore License:a full international license, with specific restrictions, like a limit for the maximum amount of insurance policies, no life policies, foreign exchange restrictions, etc.
- Restricted In-House License: enables holders to offer insurance services only to a group of individuals or corporations who are the subject matter of the license or to the proprietor of the insurance company. It is commonly used by international holdings, banks, insurance companies and tax optimization funds.
- Re-insurance License: it cannot insure by itself, it only accepts an insurance policy and subsequently secure it at another commercial onshore or offshore insurance company, often at a wholesale price.
Main characteristics of Offshore Insurance Licenses:
- Little interventions from authorities and regulatory institutions
- Often exempt from all forms of direct tax
- Low capital requirements than in the case of other jurisdictions
- Tax on profit are replaced by lump-sum taxes
- Low incorporation and license fees
- Offshore insurance companies are not subject to foreign exchange restrictions
Offshore Insurance Companies are used for two main activities:
- Insurance, security, reinsurance or other similar activities
- Tax planning purposes.