Brexit boom lifts Luxembourg insurance sector

FILE PHOTO: A Luxembourg road sign at the border between Belgium and Luxembourg, September 11, 2013. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - The Luxembourg insurance sector was buoyed by Brexit effect in the first quarter, the national insurance commission said on Monday, with international non-life premiums showing a fourfold increase from a year earlier.

Premiums in the non-life sector, including domestic business, jumped by 218 percent year on year thanks largely to the licensing of firms establishing bases in Luxembourg after the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, Luxembourg’s CAA said.

Total insurance premiums, including life assurance, were up 46 percent at 9.43 billion euros (8.06 billion pounds), CAA data showed.

Non-life, non-marine premiums taken in by licensed companies operating outside Luxembourg rose 323 percent to 3.39 billion euros, the CAA said, adding that it expects the trend to continue, or even increase, over the next two years.

Britain is due to leave the EU in the coming months but could enjoy a transition period until 2021 or 2022.

The loss of easy access to the EU single market for business based in Britain has prompted some companies to move their registered offices to other EU states, with Luxembourg registering an influx of British insurers.

The Luxembourg insurers’ association said in its annual report in March that it had welcomed 15 new corporate members, including London’s Hiscox and RSA, to take its total membership to 84 companies.

Data from the Bank of England last month showed that quarterly non-life premium income for UK insurers was worth about 20 billion euros in 2017.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald in Brussels; Editing by David Goodman