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14 December 2016Cayman analysis

All change: 40 years, new owners, expansion plans, and an award

United Insurance Company’s chief financial officer Janet Sairsingh and the United team have had a busy year.

In November 2015, United celebrated 40 years of providing captive insurance companies with reinsurance and other risk transfer alternative solutions, hosting a celebration event where Cayman’s Premier Alden McLaughlin, clients, colleagues and service providers past and present all gathered for a truly memorable evening.

Since that well-attended event, not only has United continued its track record of profitable growth, expanding its activities and service offering in the US, Europe, Far East and Latin America, but it also bid a very fond farewell to its historical and well-respected captive shareholders. United, still probably the only insurer globally solely specialised in that field, has welcomed its new owners, retained its A- rating by AM Best and won the prestigious Reinsurance Company of the Year category at the US Captive Service Awards.

“United has a wealth of knowledge, history and talent in the captive space and is based in the fantastic Cayman domicile."

Jamie Sahara is the head of insurance investments for several New York-based private equity funds that invested in United. He is also now United’s chairman.

“Acquiring a strong and respected insurance carrier in a niche market has long been our desire,” Sahara says.

“United has a wealth of knowledge, history and talent in the captive space and is based in the fantastic Cayman domicile, which will complement our other investments. United adds significant value to our strategy. We see many opportunities for carefully expanding the United offering and look forward to another 40 years of successfully serving our clients.”

United’s expansion plans have been carefully crafted in difficult markets to add client value and appeal, as well as to fill gaps in current market offerings. One of the company’s first steps will be to seek registration with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and obtain excess and surplus lines licences in all 50 US states, subject to all regulatory and other approvals.

“There is a dearth of insurers globally prepared to front for captives or managing general agents,” Sahara says. “In recent years, United started to fill that gap in marine programmes, and as a reinsurance front in certain other territories in Latin America and the Far East. Our aim is to increase that offering substantially, and to obtain further regulatory approvals in as many territories as it makes sense to do so to provide what is a much-needed service.”

Expanding on the previous captive role, United intends to grow further its risk-pooling subsidiary, Nexus Re, and enter the Risk Retention Group (RRG) space to provide reinsurance and other facilities to RRGs. The group already has an interest in a California-based specialised motor RRG.

The icing on the cake for United’s 2016 was the accolade of receiving the Reinsurance Company of the Year award at the US Captive Awards. “We are delighted that our efforts over many years have been recognised by our clients and the industry,” says Sairsingh.

Andrew Cater is a senior underwriter at United Insurance Company. He can be contacted at: