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13. InsurTech
Uruguay  Uruguay


Legal Affairs


The requirements to operate in our country as an insurance company are the following: To be located in Uruguay, to be authorized by the Executive Power and to be licensed by the CBU.


  1. Incorporation: According to section 2 of the Law No. 16.426 "public or private entities, in order to perform insurance activities shall be located in the country and must be authorized by the Executive Power with the advice of the Insurance and Reinsurance Superintendency (...)". Also, Section 120 of Law No. 19.678 provides that insurance companies´ names must contain expressions referring to the insurance services and activities.

  2. Moreover, please note that section 2 of Decree No. 354/94 provides that insurance or reinsurance activities may be carried out solely by :

    1. The state-owned entity called “Banco de Seguros del Estado”;
    2. Corporations having nominatives shares. It is also required that the company which performs insurance activities has as exclusive purpose to perform said activity.

  3. Authorization: The applicant institution must submit a form together with the following information before the Executive Branch:
    1. Proof of a deposit equivalent to 20% of the basic capital requirement. Please note that the corporation´s capital depends on the branches or areas of insurance where it will operate.
    2. Certified copy of the company’s by-laws.
    3. The contractual capital may not be less than those applicable as minimum capital.
    4. Information regarding the shareholders, specifying among others the percentage of participation in the Company´s capital.
    5. Information regarding the board of directors, syndics and key personnel. Please note that according to section 14 of Decree No. 354/94 only individuals are allowed to act as directors, not being possible for legal entities to do so.

  4. License from the Central Bank of Uruguay: Once obtain the authorization to operate as an insurance or reinsurance company by the Executive Branch it is will be necessary to submit the following information before the CBU:

    1. Evidence certified by a public accountant of having integrated the basic capital required.
    2. Description of the measures adopted to start the activities.
    3. Information regarding the key personnel in case of modifications.
    4. Information regarding the external auditors.
    5. Description of the measures adopted to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.
    6. Explanatory file regarding the computer systems to be used.
    7. Description of the internal control systems to be implemented.

  5. Procedure: We point out that such authorization and corresponding license are granted not only upon the compliance of formal requirements. The CBU also takes into consideration elements of merit and convenience, as well as the background of the incorporators or directors, as the case may be.

    The rules do not establish the term of the authorization and license procedure. What is expressly provided is that once the authorization to operate is granted, the aggregate amount of the basic capital must be paid up within thirty days; otherwise, the authorization shall be annulled.

    Furthermore, the rules provide that the company shall begin to operate within 180 calendar days, after the authorization is granted.

    Further, please bear in mind that according to article 21 of the Decree No. 354/94 all insurance companies should submit a copy of the text of the policies, as well as a copy of any amendments or attachments of the same. In this sense only the polices submitted before the CBU can be distributed.

    Finally, regarding insurance brokers, distinct from the practice in other countries, Uruguay does not have a specific regulation for these practices, therefore there is no specific regulation or licenses requirement to comply with.

    Despite the above, please note that currently insurance intermediaries are not subject to any regulations nor subject to licensing.


Economic Conditions


No data available.



Miscellaneous


Companies acting as insurance brokers are not regulated nor subject to registration.

However, as a general rule, and according to Law No. 16.426, except for international transportation and trade, all insurance agreements covering risks that may take place in Uruguay must be entered into by insurance companies duly authorized to operate in Uruguay. Failure to observe this requirement may lead to the imposition of fines to the parties involved.

Such Law allows the existence of private insurance companies in Uruguay without any type of activity restriction (other than the work related insurance, which is still under the state owned Banco de Seguros del Estado monopoly).

Notwithstanding the above, regarding the reinsurance activities be informed that the same may be performed by companies duly licensed as such in Uruguay or by foreign reinsurance companies under the terms imposed by the CBU.

Regarding insurance brokers, and generally speaking, it is understood that these individuals act as an intermediary between the insured person and the insurance entity, notwithstanding the fact that in most of the cases these insurance brokers are appointed by the insured and recognized by the insurance entity.

Moreover, regarding the activities described under “Internet of things“, we understand that said activities may be performed freely. Bear in mind that, in case the information to be collected and trated is personal information or information protected under special confidencial obligations (as may be Bank Secrecy) the prior and written consent of the natural person to whom the data undergoing processing pertain.

Lastly, please note that Insurance Law No. 19.678 regulates certain aspects and clauses of insurance agreements which will need to be considered in case any type of insurance is offered in Uruguay.



Contributing Authors

Guyer & Regules

Federico Susena
Montevideo, Uruguay


John Leaman
Montevideo, Uruguay

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1. Payment Services / Mobile Payment

2. Asset and Portfolio Management

3. Consulting and Broking Services / Robo-advisory / Auto-trading

4. Trading Platforms / Social Trading Platforms / Signal Following

5. Crowdfunding / Crowdinvesting / Crowdlending

6. Virtual Currency - Bitcoin

7. Loan Services / Factoring / Loan Broking / Finetrading

8. Online Banking Services

9. Analytics and Research / Data Management / Risk Management

10. Accounting

11. Identification

12. Online-pawning

13. InsurTech

14. RegTech

15. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

Disclaimer:
The information in this guide provides a general overview at the time of publication and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all legal developments nor should it be taken as opinion or legal advice on the matters covered. It is for general information purposes only and readers should take legal advice from a Multilaw member firm.

Publication Date: 1 August 2019