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Legal Update

Insurance Authority to Start Soon – Be Prepared for a Watchdog With Teeth!

19 May 2017
Mayer Brown JSM Legal Update

In Hong Kong, insurance intermediaries are currently self-regulated by three different professional bodies. The Insurance Agents Registration Board regulates insurance agents, whereas insurance brokers are under the purview of Hong Kong Confederation of Insurance Brokers and the Professional Insurance Brokers Association.

The Insurance Companies (Amendment) Ordinance enacted in mid-2015 has established a new Independent Insurance Authority (IIA) for Hong Kong, and introduced a series of amendments to the Insurance Companies Ordinance Cap. 41 ("ICO").

Although the new provisions of ICO are not yet in force, they provide the new IIA with considerably strong powers of regulation than the existing self-regulatory bodies. The date 26 June 2017 has been set as the time when the relevant provisions of the Amendment Ordinance become effective so as to enable the IIA to take over the work of Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.

Under the new provisions of the ICO, insurance intermediary activity is defined as "regulated activity" and includes a broad range of activities such as negotiating and arranging insurance, inviting or inducing a person to enter into a contract of insurance and giving any regulated advice.

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