25 October 2023ArticleAnalysis

Collaboration is the key to captives in Connecticut

The Connecticut captive insurance industry is benefiting from its excellent relationship with the state regulators, as Captive International discovered in an exclusive interview with the Connecticut Captive Insurance Association (CTCIA) president, P.J. Cimini.

Cimini said that CTCIA is very proud to work with Connecticut Insurance Department commissioner Andrew Mais; deputy commissioner Jared Kosky; and Fenhua Liu, director and assistant deputy commissioner of the Captive Division; who are supportive and experienced insurance regulators.

In his view, Connecticut’s regulators are tough and fair, and are looking for entities that can bring substantive and impactful captive insurance and innovative risk management business to the state. He explained that as a captive insurance domicile, with unique historic insurance roots, Connecticut is more about quality than quantity.

“Given our unique mix of depth in insurance workforce and broad experience with risk-based business and insurance entities, Connecticut has become a ‘go-to’ domicile destination and positive environment for potential captive entities to consider. 

“We’re carving a niche in a solid lane and we continue to grow,” Cimini stated. “From the investment money management part of the captive business to the deep bench of captive vendors in accounting, underwriting and actuarial fields, Connecticut has a wonderful captive insurance ecosystem that provides tremendous support right here in our state.”

Good connections

In terms of recent developments, Cimini highlighted the legislative passage and signing of Senate Bill 1038 by governor Ned Lamont, which was proposed by the Department of Insurance, supported by the CTCIA and passed this year by Connecticut’s General Assembly. The bill, which after being signed by Lamont became Public Act (PA) 23-15, now allows for the establishing of separate accounts in protected cells, streamlines the sale, exchange and transfer process of assets between the accounts and adds regulatory oversight and improved governance benefits as well.

According to Cimini the passage of PA 23-15 showed the kind of collaboration and responsiveness to the captive insurance industry from the regulator that many domiciles simply do not have. “When faced with structural regulatory issues, they work with the industry to craft very good, solid language and responses to necessary requests,” he explained.  

Cimini pointed to the growth of CTCIA as an association, in terms of member participation and the kind of diversity of industries and members joining and participating. 

“We have more members, more sponsors, and more companies joining as well as a diversity in the people from different parts of the captives industry, such as investment, consulting and captive owners. More of the latter are getting involved as their entities mature in Connecticut,” he said.

Cimini stressed that the level of collaboration between the captives industry and the regulators is very strong, as regulators have their doors open to issues and new ideas, something that he said Connecticut has learned from the experience of captive entities in other domiciles. In addition there has been consistency in staff and limited turnover in the regulatory ranks. 

He pointed to the exciting news that commissioner Mais will soon be the head of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), providing his experience and knowledge on another level. 

“Since becoming Connecticut’s 33rd insurance commissioner, Andrew has set the bar high as a recognised international leader,” explained Cimini. “His nomination and election as the NAIC president-elect, where he serves on the executive committee, is a tremendous honour for our state and a credit his strong stewardship of the department.”

Cimini highlighted the work Connecticut does with educational events such as its annual Collaborative which, he said, is one of the reasons for the state punching above its weight compared to other similarly-sized domiciles.

He stressed that events such as the Collaborative are a great way to make early connections with potential workforce partners, including students and others who are interested in the domicile market as a whole. 

“The earlier we’re talking to folks who are going to be involved underwriters, actuaries or legal advisors, the better it is, because they’re all here in Connecticut.”