Questions and Answers
Why join a captive insurance company?
The insurance marketplace commonly goes through its “hard” and “soft” cycles where premium fluctuations have little relation to individual loss experience. By pooling your resources and creating your own captive reinsurance company, these swings can be avoided, making your costs more predictable. Also, by pooling your resources, you can lower costs and retain investment income, both advantages your current insurance company retains.
Am I putting my company at financial risk by joining a group captive?
No you are not. If you were simply paying a premium into a fund in a bank and hoping your losses don’t exceed the fund, then yes, it would be very risky. Captive Resources’ client captives are structured properly, using a licensed and admitted insurance company rated A- or higher by A.M. Best, to act as the policy-issuing company and an equally strong reinsurance company to insure the catastrophic losses, so the risk is level and manageable. In this manner, the captive is only assuming risk in the smaller, more predictable loss layer.
Assuming a captive is profitable, will there be dividends? When? Will there be some relationship between loss experience and dividends?
When declared by the Board of Directors, members who have profits in their respective loss funds will have these profits returned to them along with the investment income earned for that policy period. Generally, returns begin three years after the end of a policy period; this is a decision of the Board.
Will profitability (if any) result in a decrease in premium rather than dividends?
Funding for losses is developed by the captive’s independent actuary. Over a period of time, generally three to five years, captive pay-in premiums should decrease if losses are less than the amount being funded. Conversely, if losses exceed funding, premiums will need to be increased. If the captive Board of Directors declares a dividend, members may choose to use this cash toward premium.
What problems will be addressed by Captive Resources that are not addressed through the normal insurance marketplace?
Captive Resources develops specialized loss control programs tailored to members’ unique needs, special handling instructions for each member’s claims, and unique coverage forms not available through the standard marketplace.
How long must I remain in the captive to participate in profitability?
You will be committed to the captive for only one policy period. There are no ‘handcuff’ clauses in any captives to which Captive Resources consults. We do ask that when you join, you make a moral commitment for three years to give you an opportunity to learn and understand all of the workings of the captive. Generally, dividend returns begin three years after the end of a policy period; this is a decision of the Board.
Is there any potential for additional assessments if the underwriting results turn out not as well as planned?
We are able to quantify your company’s loss exposure as your loss fund will be established by the actuary. Typically, any assessment will be driven by your own company’s loss experience. There is a defined basis for any assessment, also when and how they occur. Assessments are limited and you will always know your maximum amount up front.
Who is on the Board of your captives? Will I be on the Board?
Each member of the captive appoints a representative who sits on its Board of Directors. Members’ agents/brokers, Captive Resources, or any other third party service providers are not on the Board, nor do they have voting rights. Captives have committees responsible for loss control, finance, and underwriting, which will make recommendations to the Board. Only the Board of Directors has decision-making authority.