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Nueva Ley de Seguros en Panama

Date Published: 4/9/2012

Article Type: Legal Update

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A partir del miércoles 3 de abril, Panamá tiene una nueva ley de seguros, La Ley 12 de 2012.  Resaltamos, a continuación, los aspectos más interesantes de este nuevo marco regulatorio para la industria aseguradora. 

  • La Nueva Ley de Seguros cubre de forma integral todos los aspectos regulatorios de la industria de seguros, y actualiza la normativa a los requerimientos de la industria internacional.
  • En el orden institucional:
    • La Superintendencia obtiene categoría de organismo autónomo del Estado, con patrimonio propio e independencia en el ejercicio de sus funciones (hasta hoy, funcionaba como parte del Ministerio de Comercio e Industrias).
    • Se amplían las funciones y responsabilidades del Superintendente imponiéndole la obligación, entre otras, de actuar de oficio cuando tenga conocimiento de infracciones a la Ley de Seguros, incluyendo facultad para presentar acciones penales cuando corresponda. 
  • En el ámbito regulatorio: Se amplían las actividades supervisadas (por ejemplo, prestación de servicios o planes de salud mediante prepago) dejando incluso la puerta abierta para considerar como supervisadas aquellas actividades que lleguen a ser consideradas como tales por la Superintendencia. 
  • En términos de capitalización: Se incrementa de US$2,000,000.00 a US$5,000,000.00 el Capital Mínimo Pagado, dando un plazo de 3 años a las Aseguradoras ya establecidas para ajustar  su capital a los nuevos requerimientos.
  • Sobre temas regulatorios: 
    • Se recogen en un solo Capítulo, Acuerdos dispersos relativos a liquidación voluntaria, regularización, toma de control administrativo, reorganización y liquidación forzosa.  Todo lo referente a la liquidación forzosa entrará a regir a partir de abril de 2014.
    • Cancelación de la Póliza: Se considerará nula de manera absoluta cualquier póliza no pagada en el término correspondiente, sin necesidad de la notificación de la Aseguradora ni de declaración judicial alguna. 
  • Protección del Consumidor de Seguros: Se incluye un Capítulo con reglas más claras y un mayor balance en la relación de los consumidores de seguros frente a las Aseguradoras.
  • Adecuación de Normas Financieras: A partir del 1 de enero del 2014 todas las personas y empresas supervisadas por la Superintendencia deberán haber iniciado su proceso de adecuación a las Normas Internacionales de Información Financiera (NIIF). 


Since April 3rd Panama has a new Insurance Legislation (Law 12 of 2012). We have highlighted the most important aspects of this new regulatory framework for the Panamanian Insurance Industry as follows:

  • The New Insurance Law covers integrally all regulatory aspects of the Insurance Industry, and updates the framework to the requirements of the International Insurance community.
  • At the Institutional Level:
    • The Superintendency obtains the category of Autonomous Authority, with its own assigned Budget and Independence in its functions (until this date the Superintendency functioned as a department of the Trade Ministry.)
    • The functions and responsibilities of the Superintendency are extended, imposing the obligations, among others, to investigate all infractions to the Insurance Law and authorizing it to present criminal claims when applicable.  
  • At the regulatory level:  The regulated commercial activities are extended (for example, the offering of health plans through pre-paid systems), also leaving the door open for further activities, not mentioned in the Law, that may be deemed in the future as a regulated activity by the Superintendency. 
  • In terms of capitalization:The Minimum Paid Capital required by Law is incremented from US$2,000,000.00 to US$5,000,000.00, and a term of 3 years is provided to the existing Insurance Companies to adequate their capital requirements.
  • Other regulatory matters:
    • All the dispersed rules in the current Insurance legislation related to Voluntary and Forced Liquidation, regularization, administrative intervention, reorganization are reorganized in one chapter.   All the rules regarding Forced Liquidation will become implemented in April 2014
    • Insurance Policy cancellation: any insurance policy will be deemed as null, if unpaid in due time, without the need of previous notice from the Insurance Company or judicial declaration.
  • Insurance Consumer Protection:a new Chapter with clear and balanced rules about Insurance Consumer Protection Rights is introduced.
  • Adequacy to International Financial Standards (IFRS): From January 1st, 2014, all regulated entities, must have initiated the financial adequacy process to comply with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

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Altra Industrial Motion Inc.

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American University in Bulgaria

In my career I have been a practicing attorney, counsel to the Governor of Maine, and CEO of a major public utility. I have worked with many lawyers in many settings. When the American University in Bulgaria needed help with employment litigation in federal court in Syracuse, New York, we turned to Pierce Atwood, the ELA member we knew and trusted in Maine, for a referral. We were extremely pleased with the responsiveness and high quality of service we received from Bond Schoeneck & King, the ELA's firm in upstate New York. I would not hesitate to recommend the ELA to any employer.

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Arcata Associates

I really enjoyed the Conducting an Effective Internal Investigation in the United States webinar.  We are in the midst of a rather delicate employee relations issue in California right now and the discussion helped me tremendously.  It also reinforced things that you tend to forget if you don't do these investigations frequently.  So, many, many thanks to the Employment Law Alliance for putting that webinar together.  It was extremely beneficial.

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Barrett Business Services, Inc.

I recently participated in the ELA-sponsored webinar on the Employee Free Choice Act.  I was most impressed with that presentation.  It was extremely helpful and very worthwhile.  I have also been utilizing the ELA's online Global Employer Handbook.  This compliance tool is absolutely terrific. 

I am familiar with several other products that purport to provide up-to- date employment law information and I believe that this resource is superior to other similar compliance manuals.  I am delighted that the ELA provides this free to its members' clients.

Boyd Coffee Company

Employment Law Alliance (ELA) has provided Boyd Coffee Company with a highly valued connection to resources, important information and learning. With complex operations and employees working in approximately 20 states, we are continually striving to keep abreast of specific state laws, many of which vary from state to state. We have participated in the ELA web seminars and have found the content very useful. We appreciate the ease, cost effectiveness and quality of the content and presenters offered by these web seminars.  The Global Employer Handbook has provided our company with a very helpful overview of legal issues in the various states in which we operate, and the network of attorneys has helped us manage issues that have arisen in states other than where our Roastery and corporate headquarters are located in Portland, Oregon.

Capgemini Outsourcing Services GmbH

As an international operating outsourcing and consulting supplier Capgemini has used firms of the Employment Law Alliance in Central Europe. We were always highly satisfied with the quality of employment law advice and the responsiveness. I can really recommend the ELA lawyers.

Hirschfeld Kraemer

As an employment lawyer based in San Francisco, I work closely with high tech clients with operations around the globe. Last year, one of my clients needed to implement a workforce reduction in a dozen countries simultaneously. And they gave me 48 hours to accomplish this. I don't know how I could have pulled this off without the resources of the ELA. I don't know of any single law firm that could have made this happen. My client received all of the help they needed in a timely fashion and on a cost effective basis.

Stephen J. Hirschfeld

Hollywood Entertainment Corporation

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Ingram Micro

Ingram Micro is the world's largest technology distributor, providing sales, marketing, and logistics services for the IT industry around the globe. With over 13,000 employees working throughout the U.S. and in 35 international countries, we need employment lawyers who we can count on to ensure global legal compliance. Our experience with many multi-state and multi-national law firms is that their employment law services are not always a high priority for them, and many do not have experts in many of their offices. The ELA has assembled an excellent team of highly skilled employment lawyers, wherever and whenever I need them, and they have proven to be an invaluable resource to our company.

Konami Gaming

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Jennifer Martinez
Vice President, Human Resources

Nikkiso Cryo, Inc.

Until recently, I was unaware of the ELA's existence. We have subsidiaries and affiliates throughout the United States, as well as in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. When a recent legal issue arose in Texas, our long-time Nevada counsel, who is a member of the ELA, suggested that this matter be handled by his ELA colleague in Dallas. We are very pleased with the quality and timeliness of services provided by that firm, and we are excited to now have the ELA as an important asset to help us address employment law issues worldwide.

Palm, Inc.

The ELA network has been immensely important to our company in helping us address an array of human resources challenges around the world. I strongly encourage H.R. executives who have employees located in many different jurisdictions to utilize the ELA's unparalleled expertise and geographic coverage.

Stacy Murphy
Former Senior Director of Human Resources

Rich Products

As the General Counsel for a company with 6,500 employees operating across the U.S. and in eight countries, it is critical that I have top quality lawyers on the ground where we do business. The ELA is an indispensable resource. It has taken the guesswork out of finding the best employment counsel wherever we have a problem.

Jill K. Bond
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Ricoh Americas Corporation

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Roberts-Gordon LLC

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Rockwell Collins, Inc.

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Assistant General Counsel


Sanmina-SCI has facilities strategically located in key regions throughout the world. Our customers expect that we will provide them with the highest quality and most sophisticated services in the marketplace. We have that same expectation for the lawyers with whom we do business. With operations in 17 countries, we need to be certain that we have a team of lawyers working together to address our employment law needs worldwide. The ELA has delivered exactly what it promised-- seamless and consistent high quality services delivered in each locale around the globe. It has quickly become a key asset for our human resources department.


We own, manage, and franchise hotels throughout the U.S. and in more than 90 countries. With more than 145,000 employees worldwide, ensuring that we comply with the complex web of local labor and employment laws in every one of these jurisdictions is a daunting task. The Employment Law Alliance has served as an important resource for us and we have benefited greatly from its expertise and long reach. When a legal dispute or issue has arisen in some far-flung place, Employment Law Alliance lawyers have always provided responsive, practical, and cost-effective assistance.

Wilmington Trust Corporation

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