Puerto Rico as the Bridge Between Latin America and the U.S.
Julie Calmès

Puerto Rico as the Bridge Between Latin America and the U.S.

The 2017 Self-Insurance Institute of America (SIIA) International Conference took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 18-19. Session highlights included the advantages of the island’s financial services environment for offshore companies and an overview of the Puerto Rico Insurance Code. An accredited member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Puerto Rico’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OIC) has taken an active role in promoting the island as an ideal domicile for international insurers. 

The Puerto Rico International Insurance Center (IIC) actively advocates for and develops the island as an international insurance destination. Ruben N. Gely-Rodriguez, insurance regulator with the OIC, affirms that, “Our efforts in the promotion of the IIC have yielded dramatic results. We continue to lead the Puerto Rico insurance sector with a nearly 100% increase over 2015 and 85% average growth over the last three years.”

The Puerto Rico International Insurers’ Association (PRIIA) subsequently formed to unite the island’s OIC-registered insurers and reinsurers in driving the domicile’s expansion. Ruben A. Gely of Advantage Insurance says, “The International Insurers’ Association is an industry effort to position our domicile internationally and help other interested insurers in setting up their operations on the island.” Puerto Rico currently counts 24 international insurers and over 500 protected cells, including both pure and 831(b) captives. 

Puerto Rico’s key selling points include:

  • Easy accessibility from both the U.S. and Latin America
  • A highly-skilled, bilingual workforce and corporate culture
  • Modern communications, technological and transportation infrastructure
  • Onshore status, with U.S. dollar currency under U.S. federal financial and regulatory jurisdiction
  • Offshore status, benefiting from fiscal and tax autonomy 

Tax treatment ranges from exemption from premium taxes, dividends and other profit distributions, real and personal property taxes to exemption from withholding taxes on payments of dividends and a $1.2 million exemption on net income. Other tax incentives allow export tax exemptions and attractive benefits such as 100% income tax exemption to individuals who invest in and relocate to Puerto Rico.

Click here for more information about domiciling in Puerto Rico.

Julie Calmès is Pinnacle’s Manager of Communications. Julie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in French and Social Sciences Teaching from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Business Administration in International Marketing from the ESCP Europe Business School. Julie is an international marketing and communications professional with over 28 years' experience in strategic planning, project management and creative marketing/communications design for global, multi-lingual audiences. A dual U.S.-European citizen, she has lived and worked throughout Europe, Asia and the United States.

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