Insurance companies are an important segment of the domestic financial sector, offering a variety of insurance services ranging from long term insurance such as life assurance, pensions and permanent health insurance, to general insurance such as fire, motor vehicle, worker's compensation, employer's liability and miscellaneous insurance. The contribution of the insurance industry to the Mauritian economy over the last few years has been approximately 12%. Insurance companies are largely private sector owned. There are currently over 30 insurance companies operating in Mauritius of which several are foreign insurers.
The insurance sector in Mauritius is relatively well developed with a market penetration higher than India and on the same level as Singapore (Vittas Report March 2003).
The sector was positively assessed in the Financial Sector Assessment report released in August 2003, from a programme conducted jointly by the IMF and World Bank. The report refers to the insurance industry as being "well developed". It also states that "the large and medium sized companies are efficient and financially strong. Despite the high level of concentration, the insurance industry appears competitive, efficient, and reasonably profitable". The Report recommends the promotion of further consolidation in the industry, to ensure sound competition and greater safety by raising the level of minimum capital and introducing risk-based capital requirements.
Insurance business in Mauritius is governed by the Insurance Act of 2005, and the Insurance Regulations of 2007. Under the Financial Services Development Act 2001, the Financial Services Commission took over the Regulatory and Supervisory role of the Controller of Insurance within the Ministry of Economic Development, Financial Services and Corporate Affairs.