The Insurance Authority
The Insurance Authority is the regulator of the Hong Kong insurance industry. It took over from the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (“OCI”) to become the regulator of all insurers carrying on insurance business in and from Hong Kong, on 26 June 2017.
The founding of the Insurance Authority is vital to ensuring that the Hong Kong insurance industry continues to be aligned with international standards of insurance regulation. This, in turn, is pivotal to maintaining Hong Kong’s position as an International Finance Centre.
The new premium Levy
A portion of the new Insurance Authority’s funding will come from a premium Levy to be applied to all insurance policies (apart from certain exempted classes of business) with policy periods beginning on or after 1 January 2018. The Levy is payable by policyholders, but is to be collected by insurers and paid onto the Insurance Authority.
The amount of the Levy
The Levy on each policy is calculated as a percentage of the premium payable for the policy, subject to a cap. The Levy is payable in addition to the premium (and is not part of the premium). The Levy starts at 0.04% in 2018 and increases over four years to 0.1% in 2021. The rates to apply are set out in the below table:
|Period||Levy Rate||Maximum levy to be applied per policy (general insurance)|
|From 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2019 (both dates inclusive)||0.04%||HKD 2,000|
From 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020
(both dates inclusive)
From 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021
(both dates inclusive)
|From 1 April 2021 onwards||0.1%||HKD 5,000|
Insurance policies to which the Levy applies
The Levy applies to policies with policy periods commencing on or after 1 January 2018 (whether the policy is a new policy or a renewal policy). It applies to all policies in all classes of business except for aviation, marine and cargo. Reinsurance business is also excluded as are policies issued by AIG Hong Kong’s Macau branch.
Responsibility for paying the Levy
Policyholders are responsible for paying the Levy and insurers are responsible for collecting the Levy from their policyholders and paying it onto the Insurance Authority.
An insurer also has the option of shouldering the Levy itself on behalf of (i.e. not collecting from) policyholders and paying it to the Insurance Authority, if for example, the administrative burden or costs of collection outweigh the amount of the Levy itself.
Classes of business where AIG Hong Kong will collect the Levy from Policyholders
AIG Hong Kong will collect the Levy on all its commercial lines insurance policies (that is insurance policies of the type listed in the “Business” section of our website), except for SME Business Package policies and policies in the exempted classes of marine, aviation, cargo and reinsurance.
For administrative convenience, however, AIG Hong Kong will not collect the Levy on personal lines insurance policies (being policies listed in the “Personal” section of this website) or SME Business Package policies. As such, we will be shouldering the Insurance Authority levy for all of the following types of policies: travel insurance products (single trip, annual and group), personal accident (individual and group), auto insurance (except for fleet), home insurance, domestic helper insurance, golf insurance, extended warranty and SME Business Package insurance.
AIG Hong Kong may change its position as to which policies to collect the Levy on at a later date, entirely within its discretion. For the time being, however, the above sets out AIG Hong Kong’s approach.
Policy and other documentation referencing the Levy
For insurance policies (both new policies and renewals) with policy periods commencing on and from 1 January 2018, you will see references to the Levy being included in our communications, other policy related documents (quotations, renewal notices, debit notes etc.) and inserts which we provide to policyholders and intermediaries in respect of such policies
Further information on the Levy can be found on the Insurance Authority’s website at https://www.ia.org.hk/en/aboutus/role/financial_arrangements.htm
with a set of FAQs at: https://www.ia.org.hk/en/infocenter/faqs/faqs_levy.html
If you have any specific queries on the Levy, or if you are a Personal Lines or SME Business Package policyholder and you wish us to re-confirm that the Levy has been paid on your behalf please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Please note the content of this webpage is for information only and is not intended to be, nor should it be taken as, legal advice.)