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  • 1.

    Regulatory agencies
    Identify the regulatory agencies responsible for regulating insurance and reinsurance companies.

  • 2.

    Formation and licensing
    What are the requirements for formation and licensing of new insurance and reinsurance companies?

  • 3.

    Other licences, authorisations and qualifications
    What licences, authorisations or qualifications are required for insurance and reinsurance companies to conduct business?

  • 4.

    Officers and directors
    What are the minimum qualification requirements for officers and directors of insurance and reinsurance companies?

  • 5.

    Capital and surplus requirements
    What are the capital and surplus requirements for insurance and reinsurance companies?

  • 6.

    What are the requirements with respect to reserves maintained by insurance and reinsurance companies?

  • 7.

    Product regulation
    What are the regulatory requirements with respect to insurance products offered for sale? Are some products regulated by multiple agencies?

  • 8.

    Regulatory examinations
    What are the frequency, types and scope of financial, market conduct or other periodic examinations of insurance and reinsurance companies?

  • 9.

    What are the rules on the kinds and amounts of investments that insurance and reinsurance companies may make?

  • 10.

    Change of control
    What are the regulatory requirements on a change of control of insurance and reinsurance companies? Are officers, directors and controlling persons of the acquirer subject to background investigations?

  • 11.

    Financing of an acquisition
    What are the requirements and restrictions regarding financing of the acquisition of an insurance or reinsurance company?

  • 12.

    Minority interest
    What are the regulatory requirements and restrictions on investors acquiring a minority interest in an insurance or reinsurance company?

  • 13.

    Foreign ownership
    What are the regulatory requirements and restrictions concerning the investment in an insurance or reinsurance company by foreign citizens, companies or governments?

  • 14.

    Group supervision and capital requirements
    What is the supervisory framework for groups of companies containing an insurer or reinsurer in a holding company system? What are the enterprise risk assessment and reporting requirements for an insurer or reinsurer and its holding company? What holding company or group capital requirements exist in addition to individual legal entity capital requirements for insurers and reinsurers?

  • 15.

    Reinsurance agreements
    What are the regulatory requirements with respect to reinsurance agreements between insurance and reinsurance companies domiciled in your jurisdiction?

  • 16.

    Ceded reinsurance and retention of risk
    What requirements and restrictions govern the amount of ceded reinsurance and retention of risk by insurers?

  • 17.

    What are the collateral requirements for reinsurers in a reinsurance transaction?

  • 18.

    Credit for reinsurance
    What are the regulatory requirements for cedents to obtain credit for reinsurance on their financial statements?

  • 19.

    Insolvent and financially troubled companies
    What laws govern insolvent or financially troubled insurance and reinsurance companies?

  • 20.

    Claim priority in insolvency
    What is the priority of claims (insurance and otherwise) against an insurance or reinsurance company in an insolvency proceeding?

  • 21.

    What are the licensing requirements for intermediaries representing insurance and reinsurance companies?

  • 22.

    Third-party actions
    Can a third party bring a direct action against an insurer for coverage?

  • 23.

    Late notice of claim
    Can an insurer deny coverage based on late notice of claim without demonstrating prejudice?

  • 24.

    Wrongful denial of claim
    Is an insurer subject to extra-contractual exposure for wrongful denial of a claim?

  • 25.

    Defence of claim
    What triggers a liability insurer’s duty to defend a claim?

  • 26.

    Indemnity policies
    For indemnity policies, what triggers the insurer’s payment obligations?

  • 27.

    Is there a period beyond which a life insurer cannot contest coverage based on misrepresentation in the application?

  • 28.

    Punitive damages
    Are punitive damages insurable?

  • 29.

    Excess insurer obligations
    What is the obligation of an excess insurer to ‘drop down and defend’, and pay a claim, if the primary insurer is insolvent or its coverage is otherwise unavailable without full exhaustion of primary limits?

  • 30.

    Self-insurance default
    What is an insurer’s obligation if the policy provides that the insured has a self-insured retention or deductible and is insolvent and unable to pay it?

  • 31.

    Claim priority
    What is the order of priority for payment when there are multiple claims under the same policy?

  • 32.

    Allocation of payment
    How are payments allocated among multiple policies triggered by the same claim?

  • 33.

    Disgorgement or restitution
    Are disgorgement or restitution claims insurable losses?

  • 34.

    Definition of occurrence
    How do courts determine whether a single event resulting in multiple injuries or claims constitutes more than one occurrence under an insurance policy?

  • 35.

    Rescission based on misstatements
    Under what circumstances can misstatements in the application be the basis for rescission?

  • 36.

    Reinsurance disputes
    Are formal reinsurance disputes common, or do insurers and reinsurers tend to prefer business solutions for their disputes without formal proceedings?

  • 37.

    Common dispute issues
    What are the most common issues that arise in reinsurance disputes?

  • 38.

    Arbitration awards
    Do reinsurance arbitration awards typically include the reasoning for the decision?

  • 39.

    Power of arbitrators
    What powers do reinsurance arbitrators have over non-parties to the arbitration agreement?

  • 40.

    Appeal of arbitration awards
    Can parties to reinsurance arbitrations seek to vacate, modify or confirm arbitration awards through the judicial system? What level of deference does the judiciary give to arbitral awards?

  • 41.

    Obligation to follow cedent
    Does a reinsurer have an obligation to follow its cedent’s underwriting fortunes and claims payments or settlements in the absence of an express contractual provision? Where such an obligation exists, what is the scope of the obligation, and what defences are available to a reinsurer?

  • 42.

    Good faith
    Is a duty of utmost good faith implied in reinsurance agreements? If so, please describe that duty in comparison to the duty of good faith applicable to other commercial agreements.

  • 43.

    Facultative reinsurance and treaty reinsurance
    Is there a different set of laws for facultative reinsurance and treaty reinsurance?

  • 44.

    Third-party action
    Can a policyholder or non-signatory to a reinsurance agreement bring a direct action against a reinsurer for coverage?

  • 45.

    Insolvent insurer
    What is the obligation of a reinsurer to pay a policyholder’s claim where the insurer is insolvent and cannot pay?

  • 46.

    Notice and information
    What type of notice and information must a cedent typically provide its reinsurer with respect to an underlying claim? If the cedent fails to provide timely or sufficient notice, what remedies are available to a reinsurer and how does the language of a reinsurance contract affect the availability of such remedies?

  • 47.

    Allocation of underlying claim payments or settlements
    Where an underlying loss or claim provides for payment under multiple underlying reinsured policies, how does the reinsured allocate its claims or settlement payments among those policies? Do the reinsured’s allocations to the underlying policies have to be mirrored in its allocations to the applicable reinsurance agreements?

  • 48.

    What type of review does the governing law afford reinsurers with respect to a cedent’s claims handling, and settlement and allocation decisions?

  • 49.

    Reimbursement of commutation payments
    What type of obligation does a reinsurer have to reimburse a cedent for commutation payments made to the cedent’s policyholders? Must a reinsurer indemnify its cedent for ‘incurred but not reported’ claims?

  • 50.

    Extra-contractual obligations (ECOs)
    What is the obligation of a reinsurer to reimburse a cedent for ECOs?

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Lenz & Staehelin is one of Switzerland’s leading law firms. With offices in Geneva, Zurich and Lausanne, its role in the Swiss and international business communities is highlighted by the fact that it lists many of the world’s most successful and reputable companies, organisations and institutions, as well as individuals with interests in Switzerland among its clients.

View more information about Lenz & Staehelin

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