The International Insurance Forum at Forinvest was attended by 4 underwriting agencies belonging to ASASE: Alea Cover, Exsel, Iberian and MDC Cover. In addition, Carlos Lluch and Ángel Somalo, both insurance brokers, participated in the event and gave their point of view and experience of working with underwriting agencies.

The debate focused on the advantages, for the insurance broker, of working with underwriting agencies. Thus, Dario Spata, as president of Asase, had the opportunity to explain what an underwriting agency is, from a very practical point of view and comparing it with certain similarities they have with insurance companies, and highlighting the advantages over the latter. He also explained what a binder contract is, and lastly, he spoke about the association that he has presided since April last year. He highlighted that there are already 21 members, with 7 partners: Mayrit, Mac Re, Wii Re, as reinsurance brokers, and Hogan Lovells, Bird & Bird, Ges40 and Muñoz Arribas, as law firms. In addition, Spata explained the history of Iberian, “how they have come from zero to the present day, with 4 binders in force, 24 people on staff, and five years in a row with an Ebitda of over one million euros“.

On behalf of Exsel, Ivonne García, general manager of the underwriting agency, was present and explained all the products that Exsel underwrites, its computerized online quotation and issuance system, and new lines that will soon be available to its network of brokers. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of brokers in the underwriting of risks for any underwriting agency, emphasizing the selection of the brokers with whom he works, the requirements, both technical and business.

The round table was moderated by José Luis Latorre, head of Alea Cover, who asked questions to the speakers and also gave way to questions from the audience, which was particularly active. He also had the opportunity to explain “how demanding are the processes that agencies have to go through to be able to work with Lloyd’s, being this an added value for the insured and brokers, due to the high level of compliance“.

MDC Cover was represented by Luis Ramón Rodríguez, who explained the products that the underwriting agency underwrites in Spain, and made a comparison of the legislation in other countries with respect to Spain.

Both Carlos Lluch and Ángel Somalo gave their point of view with respect to the capacities of insurers that some underwriting agencies have in countries with less strict legislation than Spain. Both agree that it is important for the broker and the end client that the insurer is well known, reliable and with a high level of solvency, as well as having a panel of reinsurers that generates confidence. However, Spata, on behalf of ASASE, gave a somewhat different point of view, since although sometimes the capacity is not comparable to that of certain well-known companies in terms of solvency, but if they come to underwrite risks that the market rejects or has no appetite for, with certain solvency and reinsurance control, the agencies can provide a solution to complicated risks that without these insurers, there would be no possibility of placement.

Finally, and at the request of questions from the audience, a debate was held on the legislation of underwriting agencies. Thus, following a question from Carlos Lluch, Jose Luis Latorre commented that for several years there has been no official register of underwriting agencies at the DGSFP, and to find some information on the subject, you need a lot of expertise and a good nose, which is not always possible.

In this sense, other legislative disadvantages that the agencies suffer are the lack of an EU passport, when in other countries they can work throughout the European economic territory, the lack of portfolio rights and the lack of ownership of the know-how that the agency itself has before working with any insurer.

For all these points, Spata explained that “ASASE is holding meetings with the DGSFP to improve the legislation and rights of the agency, highlighting the predisposition shown by the regulator to address these issues“.

(Information obtained from