The majority of legislators have reservations about spinning off the Insurance Authority from the government because policyholders and insurance companies may have to pay more to support the regulator. The government has completed a consultation on whether the Insurance Authority should be independent from the administration. Insurance Commissioner Benjamin Tang Kwok-bun told legislators yesterday that most insurance companies had reservations about the plan because they feared they might need to pay more for the new regulator. Liberal party chairman James Tien Pei-chun said the party was worried that policyholders might end up paying more after a spin-off. At present, the government pays 60 per cent of the annual HK$100 million operating costs of the Insurance Authority, while the rest is paid by licence fees from about 190 insurance companies. Many legislators said they would support the move only if the government detailed future operating costs, but Permanent Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Tony Miller said it could not give an accurate estimation because it had not yet decided on a model for the insurance regulator.