6 August 2022ArticleAnalysis

Meeting once again

As this edition of Captive International’s US Focus is published, members of the US captive insurance industry will assemble in Burlington, Vermont for the 2022 Vermont Captive Insurance Association’s (VCIA) conference.It’s the first fully in-person VCIA event since 2019 and will be the first conference of its kind I’ve attended for almost three years. And what a three years it’s been.Looking back, it’s hard not to marvel at the way things have changed. In 2019, who could have predicted what lay just months ahead? Who could have forecast a global pandemic, with millions dead, millions more affected and everyone asking about facemasks and vaccines?In this edition we examine the way the US market has been able to adapt and change to these new circumstances. We look at why talent acquisition and retention is so important for the sector, as well as why the current market is so hard.We talk to David Provost, outgoing deputy commissioner of the captive insurance division at the Vermont department of financial regulation and his replacement Sandy Bigglestone, about the challenges the domicile has faced over the past 15 years, as well as what lies ahead.Dan Towle, head of the Captive Insurance Companies Association, gives his views on where the market stands as we head into the second half of 2022, and we have a series of updates on captive domiciles all over the US, from Utah to Tennessee and Missouri. And we go offshore to see where Barbados stands in the market.

As microcaptives make the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen” list yet again we investigate why that is, along with a dive into topics such as alternative energy, healthcare and the increasingly complex world of cyber captives, a topic that has hit the headlines this year.We also cover the increasingly topical subject of inflation, which made an unwelcome return to people’s conversations as supply networks restarted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Social inflation is a very real issue, as jurors award larger and larger sums to plaintiffs in trials, causing costs to spiral upwards and companies to look more at getting around those costs via a captive.Coming full circle back to the coronavirus, I’d like to pause for a moment and point out that we have all been touched by recent events. As we prepare for the insurance conference season to restart, with VCIA’s annual conference as well as APCIA and other conferences in Monte Carlo, Bermuda and Singapore, we need to acknowledge that some familiar faces will be absent from those meetings.So, here is a simple toast that can be made using anyone’s choice of beverage that’s particularly apt for all those upcoming events: Ladies and gentlemen, to absent friends.