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Who is Insurance Authority (IA)?

Insurance Authority (IA) is the regulatory body responsible for supervising insurance activities in Hong Kong. The areas they supervise include:


Wishing to carry on insurance business in or from Hong Kong? See how CMILE can effortlessly highlight the authorization requirements and procedures from Guideline 1 (GL1) and thw application for authorization to Carry on Insurance Business from Guideline 5 (GL5), along with the authorization requirements outlined in the Insurance Ordinance.


The minimum paid-up capital is currently HK$10 million, or HK$20 million for a composite insurer (i.e. carrying on both general and long term business) or for an insurer wishing to carry on statutory classes of insurance business. See the minimum capital requirements along with expected safety margins required on top of the required capital and more on CMILE.


Solvency expectations for a general insurers is different from long term insurers. For general insurer, the solvency margin is based on a factor applied to the premiums and outstanding claims with a floor set at HK$10 million. For life insurers, the solvency margin is based on the matermatical reserve and a measure of capital at risk.

Governance requirements

The IA has very specific requirements around Corporate Governance of Authorized Insurers, as setout in Guideline 10 (GL10). The corporate governance requirements highlight regulatory expectations around a system of “checks and balances” that should be in place for a sound and prudent management and oversight of the insurance operations with policyholder protection in mind.

Assets maintained in Hong Kong

The Insurance Ordinance sets out the requirements for authorised insurers to maintain certain amount of their assets within Hong Kong. This could be as high as 80% of the insurers net liabilities and its solvency margin. The purpose of localising assets in HK is to ensure policyholder protection in an event of insolvency of an insurer where assets will be available in HK to meet the claims of HK policy holders.

Fit & Proper

Directors or controllers of an insurer are expected to meet the “fit and proper” requirements setout in the Insurance Ordinance. When applying the fit and proper "test", the regulator takes into account, among other things, the character, qualifications and experience of the directors or controllers. Regulatory expectations for the “Fit and Proper” are outlined in GL4 and the Insurance Ordinance.

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