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Common Captive Insurance Questions

Captive insurance is a unique approach to managing risk that has gained popularity in recent years. If you’re new to the concept, you likely have several questions about how it works and its benefits. Here are some commonly asked questions about captive insurance:

1. What is captive insurance? Captive insurance involves the creation of an insurance company to provide coverage primarily for its parent company or a group of related companies. Rather than relying solely on traditional insurance providers, captives allow organizations to retain and manage their own risk.

2. How is captive insurance different from self-insurance? While both captive and self-insurance involve assuming a portion of the risk, they operate in slightly different ways. Self-insurance typically involves setting aside funds to cover potential losses, while captive insurance involves creating a formal insurance entity to underwrite and manage risks.

3. What are the benefits of captive insurance? Captive insurance offers several advantages, including increased control over insurance costs, greater flexibility in coverage options, and the potential for financial rewards through dividends and investment income.

4. Who can benefit from captive insurance? Captive insurance can be beneficial for a wide range of organizations, including large corporations, associations, and groups of companies with similar or different risk profiles. It is particularly attractive to businesses looking to customize their insurance coverage and reduce dependence on traditional insurance markets.

5. What types of risks can be covered by a captive insurance company? Captive insurance companies can provide coverage for a variety of risks, including property and casualty, liability, workers’ compensation, and professional liability. The specific risks covered depend on the needs and priorities of the parent company or group.

6. How does a captive insurance company operate? A captive insurance company operates much like a traditional insurance carrier, collecting premiums from policyholders, underwriting risks, and paying claims. However, captives have the advantage of being able to tailor policies and pricing to better meet the needs of their insureds.

7. Is captive insurance regulated? Yes, captive insurance companies are subject to regulation by the jurisdictions in which they are domiciled. This regulation helps ensure that captives maintain adequate reserves, adhere to underwriting standards, and fulfill their financial obligations to policyholders.

8. What are the potential drawbacks of captive insurance? While captive insurance offers many benefits, it also comes with certain risks and challenges. These may include the need for initial capitalization, ongoing administrative costs, and the potential for adverse loss experience impacting financial stability.

Captive insurance can be a valuable tool for organizations seeking greater control and flexibility in managing their risks. By understanding how captives work and considering their specific needs and circumstances, businesses can make informed decisions about whether captive insurance is the right choice for them.


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