Providing insurance for employees is not cheap. Employers often attempt to control costs by increasing employee contributions, reducing benefits or regularly switching providers, but a growing number are using group medical stop loss captive programmes, says Dave Tatlock at SRS Vermont.
The increasing digitisation of our lives brings many benefits, but it is also making it much harder for companies to get a full picture of their risk exposures, particularly in terms of cyber risk. But captives can be used as a strategic tool to give organisations an enterprise-wide understanding of their cyber risk, says David Molony at Aon.
The growth of the sharing economy asks profound questions of the insurance industry, in many cases rendering its traditional methods of calculating and pricing risk redundant. But captives, which have historically served as a laboratory for underwriting new and emerging risks, could be a solution to this problem, says Edward Koral of Deloitte Consulting.
The selection of independent non-executive directors for captives often comes down to the appointment of people who have proved their worth conducting the same role for other captives or financial institutions. This process has made the industry male, pale and stale, and has led to group-think, but there is a better way, say Malcolm Cutts-Watson of Cutts-Watson Consulting and Nick Graham of OSA Recruitment.
Trends in the wider insurance market have always had an impact on the captive market, with many captives tracing their origins back to times when insurance capacity for certain lines became more scarce or more costly. The hardening market could signal another uptick in captive insurance activity, says Matt Latham of AXA XL.
HR professionals are often leaders in workplace violence prevention initiatives. They have a special duty to advance proper prevention initiatives within their organisations, says Paul Marshall of McGowan Program Administrators, in the second of a four-part series about the impact and aftermath of an active shooter event.
Enterprise risk management is not driven by captive insurance companies, it is mandated by an organisation’s board, and then executed by its senior management. It works best when there is a clear line of communication between the captive’s board and its owner’s risk management function, says Michael Zuckerman of Temple University Fox School of Business.
Micro captive growth has slowed down considerably as potential owners digest the implications of IRS manoeuvres against the industry. But the presence of a few bad apples should not detract from the good work done by most captives, says Jeremy Colombik of Management Services International.
Insurers have faced a challenging environment over the past decade, with stunted interest rates, low bond yields and a tighter regulatory environment all buffeting the sector. The relatively small size of captives makes them particularly vulnerable, but Kate Miller and Shadrack Kwasa of London & Capital have some words of advice.
One of the key benefits of owning a captive is the ability to access the reinsurance market as a viable alternative to the commercial insurance market. But relationships are crucial, and new captives must make a clear business case to ensure the reinsurance market is supportive, says Michael Douglas of Aon.