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Insurance Authority Levy (“IA Levy”)
From 1 January 2018 onwards, the Insurance Authority (“IA”) will collect a levy on insurance premium from policy holders under Insurance (Levy) Order and Insurance (Levy) Regulation.
It is an offence for a policy holder to fail to pay the levy in a timely manner, and the policy holder may be liable to a pecuniary penalty not exceeding HKD5,000.
Except for certain policies (reinsurance business, marine, aviation and goods-in-transit business are exempted from the levy by law), policy holders of all new or in-force policies must pay the levy along with their premium payment.
Details of levy can be referred to table below.
Insurance Authority Levy (“IA Levy”) – Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is IA?
“IA” is known as Insurance Authority, a new insurance regulator independent of the Government and the industry. IA has taken over the functions of Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) to regulate insurance companies since 26 June 2017. The objectives of its establishment are to modernize the insurance industry regulatory infrastructure to facilitate the stable development of the industry, provide better protection for policy holders, and comply with the requirement of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors that insurance regulators should be financially and operationally independent of the government and industry.
2. What is IA levy?
To support the financial independence of the IA, starting from 1 January 2018, a levy on insurance premiums will be collected from policy holders through insurance companies.
3. How is the levy calculated?
The collection of levy will be in an incremental approach after its establishment as to minimize its impact on the policy holders. The levy rate in the first phase will be 0.04% of the insurance premium and increase gradually on a yearly basis until it reaches the target level of 0.1% in April 2021 and onwards.
4. Does the levy apply to all types of insurance policies?
The insurance levy applies to new business and in-force policies with premium payment of insurance policies. However, reinsurance business, marine, aviation and goods-in-transit business are exempt from the levy.
5. What if a policy holder refuses to pay the levy?
Policy holders must pay the levy in accordance with the law. If a policy holder refuses to pay the required levy, the IA may impose on the policy holder a pecuniary penalty of up to HKD5,000. The IA may recover the outstanding levy as a civil debt due to it.
6. Will levy be refunded to policy holders?
Refund of levy is allowed if the corresponding premium becomes refundable, e.g. alter from inception, cancellation of policies, etc. However, there will not be refund of levy if the amount of levy payable on premium after refund has reached the levy cap and for cancellation of policies that do not constitute any premium refund.
7. How can I know the exact amount of the IA levy?
Levy payable will be shown in policy related documents (e.g. quotations, renewal notices, debit notes, etc.)
8. Is the insurance policy or coverage affected by the levy?
Product coverage under the insurance policy will not be affected.
Further information on the IA levy can be found on the Insurance Authority’s official website at https://www.ia.org.hk/en/levy
with a set of FAQs at https://www.ia.org.hk/en/infocenter/faqs/faqs_levy.html
(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.)
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