ITC DIA Europe

Atlas Insurance PCC: Empowering Insurtechs to become EU & UK Carriers 

Written by Jolijn Schalkwijk on Apr 16, 2024

The insurtech sector is known for pushing the boundaries of traditional insurance through technology, in order to enhance efficiency, personalise customer experiences and introduce groundbreaking products. Yet, for many insurtechs, the journey to becoming a fully-fledged insurance carrier is fraught with regulatory, capital, and operational challenges.  

However, the landscape is evolving, with Malta’s Protected Cell Company (PCC) framework and the pioneering efforts of companies like Atlas Insurance PCC, a FinanceMalta member, emerging as a game-changer for insurtechs aspiring to carrier status. 

Malta is the only EU member state that has PCC legislation. A Maltese PCC can host an insurtech’s cell, providing a cost-effective alternative to setting up a European standalone insurance company. Through their cell, insurtechs can write and carry risks directly across the European Economic Area (EEA) single market. Atlas was also the first PCC to establish a UK branch, thereby also providing direct access to the UK market for the cells it hosts. This strategic positioning enables insurtechs to tap into a wide consumer base, driving growth and facilitating cross-border expansion.  

How it works

PCC legislation provides protective separation between different cells and the core, with each cell having its own legally segregated assets and liabilities. Some PCCs, like Atlas, have active cores that can rapidly incubate and front risks, providing more time to assess and set up a cell. This agility can also help startups that need more data or capital to set up a cell. 

The cell structure offers economies of scale and significant cost burden sharing whilst granting cells access to a shared pool of knowledge and expertise within the management at the core of the cell company. Cells benefit from the established licences, governance, resources, reporting and other processes of the PCC. Cell owners can save considerable time on management, enabling them to concentrate on their business and risks. 

The application process for a cell is less demanding than setting up an insurance company, because the management and governance of the PCC is already known to the regulator. 

The capital required can also be lower for individual cells. EU Solvency II recognises cells as ring-fenced funds, which have no absolute minimum capital requirements of their own. Cells often have capital needs to cover their risks below standalone insurer minimums.  

Why did we select Finance Malta & Atlas Insurance PCC for ITC DIA Europe Amsterdam? 

With almost two decades of experience in cell company structures, Atlas has built deep expertise in hosting cells with varying strategies and purposes, particularly cells writing consumer-embedded insurance.  

As the insurance landscape evolves, Malta remains committed to providing a dynamic and supportive environment for protected cells. The combination of regulatory excellence, an experienced ecosystem, economic resilience, and a culture of innovation makes Malta not just a domicile, but a strategic enabling partner. 

Who is Atlas Insurance PCC? 

The Atlas Group, a member of FinanceMalta, has been part of Malta’s insurance and financial landscape since the 1920s. In 2006 the Group extended operations into the international arena by providing protected cell facilities to businesses wishing to write insurance within the EU through its Atlas Insurance PCC cell operations. Atlas distinguished itself as the first direct insurer globally to convert to a Protected Cell Company (PCC). 

“More insurtechs targeting the EU & UK markets are establishing carrier cells for sustainable retained profitable growth, underwriting control and enhanced competitive positioning, attracting further investment and ultimately accelerating value to customers through their innovation”

Ian-Edward Stafrace, Chief Strategy Officer, Atlas Insurance
Team Atlas Insurance 
Amsterdam 12-13 June

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