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5 August 2014Actuarial & underwriting

In America’s heartland

There are lots of captive domiciles to choose from, but none this convenient. Missouri, located in the heartland of America and with two major metropolitan areas, offers easy access to companies interested in maximising efficiency and controlling expenses.

It’s bordered by eight states and with 20 others close enough to be called neighbours, approximately 40 percent of the largest publicly traded companies are located within a 500-mile radius of Missouri. Nearly half of the manufacturing plants in our country and more than 50 percent of the US population are both within a 600-mile radius.

A competitive economy helps spur company innovation. Missouri has remained in the Pollina Corporate Real Estate’s top 10 pro-business states for four years and has the third most diversified economy in the US with a GDP exceeding $258 billion. We also rank in the top 10 states for regulatory environment, according to Forbes. Given these advantages, we find that business owners want the peace of mind that comes from locating their captive in a stable, business-friendly Midwestern domicile.

Missouri is a leader in the alternative risk transfer market, dedicated to a regulatory environment where businesses can grow and prosper. Our laws are similar to those of most active domiciles and were enacted to benefit the state and those companies that would prefer to keep their captive closer to their base of operations.

Missouri captives currently include Fortune 500 companies as well as small business owners writing compensation deductibles, property and casualty lines, professional and general liability, life reinsurance and much more.

The programme

In Missouri we believe that the overall health of our captive industry is more important than the number of captives we license each year. We believe steady growth and sustainability are the keys to a successful captive programme. As a result, Missouri has a diverse mix of captives seeking licensure.

There has also been an increased effort to work with the Missouri Captive Insurance Association (MOCIA), complementing its active support of the captive industry in our state. MOCIA’s last two events attracted representatives from around the country for networking and educational opportunities. We are happy to be working with MOCIA again this year on a similar event to be held in St. Louis in September.

Our goal is to be the domicile of choice for businesses large and small, a goal we are well on our way to achieving. During the past 12 months, 13 captives have been licensed, increasing total licences issued to 41. This is an all-time high since the inception of the captive programme in 2007, and interest continues to grow. Missouri’s law, coupled with our experience in working with companies that use a variety of different methods to manage risk, benefits captives of all shapes and sizes. Our captives are subsidiaries of some very noteworthy industry leaders and generate billions of dollars in premium volume.

We structured our captive programme in Missouri in such a way as to avoid focusing on, or favouring, any specific type of captive structure or line of business. We license captives writing anything from one line of coverage to 20. We consider every captive applicant on the merits of their application and carefully review every captive application to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations. This maintains a strong environment capable of being tailored to a company’s specific needs.

Missouri captives are formed to mitigate exposure to a wide range of risks. Practically every risk underwritten by a commercial insurer can be provided by a Missouri captive. The majority of our captives provide mainstream property and casualty insurance coverage such as general liability, product liability, workers’ compensation deductible, directors and officers (D&O) liability, errors and omissions (E&O) liability, auto liability and professional liability. Some of our captives also provide specialised coverage for unusual or hard-to-insure risks.

The Missouri captive programme is designed to be a pro-business platform that includes a simplified and efficient application review process with review costs stated up front. Further, the initial licensing fee and subsequent annual renewal fees can then be fully deducted from future premium taxes. The actuarial review fee paid to the department’s consulting firm cannot exceed the maximum stated cost, no matter how complex. Exams are conducted efficiently and via experienced in-house examiners, thereby minimising cost and time.

Our focus is on creating a sound and solid captive regulatory environment that serves as an asset to companies doing business in the state of Missouri. We do this by being both responsible and responsive to the needs of the business community and the captive industry in our state. While our laws are competitive with other captive domiciles, it is not the law that makes Missouri a top domicile; it is the way in which the law is administered by our experienced team, which is both knowledgeable and accessible. We provide prudent and balanced regulatory oversight of each Missouri licence captive for the most favourable long-term effect on the captive industry.

Missouri’s future

As the popularity of captives has grown, so too have the complexities of transactions. It remains incumbent upon Missouri to continue to evolve our captive programme to keep pace with the ever-changing risks, something we demonstrate in our commitment to continue to offer a highly competitive captive programme.

In 2013 MOCIA led a successful effort to amend our captive law to add sponsored captive insurance companies with incorporated cells and reduce minimum capital and surplus requirements for association captives. These new laws took effect on August 28, 2013 and seamlessly worked into our licensing and regulatory process.

We do not have immediate plans to make any revisions to our captive insurance laws this year as those we have in place now work well for our state. However, we continue significant outreach to the captive community. We are always interested in hearing proposals and ideas as we work with those in the captive industry to develop new solutions. We also continue to focus on solvency modernisation initiatives that are important to the captive sector and the insurance industry at large.

While our laws help us maintain a competitive advantage, the regulatory knowledge and experience of Missouri’s captive staff and the state’s commitment to a strong and sustainable captive programme, also provide the ability to grow and prosper as a domicile. Our insurance regulators are among the best in the country, with a reputation for being professional, flexible and fair. The Missouri Insurance Department has a solid programme to license quality captives with sound business plans and good corporate governance and, as a result, Missouri is now a thriving mid-size domicile based on the number of captives that we regulate.

We are committed to maintaining high standards in the captive community nationwide. The reputation of Missouri and our service providers is exemplary and keeps us on the competitive edge of a global stage. We recognise that choosing the right captive insurance domicile is important for the ongoing success of a captive insurance company and we are confident our efficient and effective programme will continue to make Missouri the domicile of choice.

Visit us

This is an exciting time in the captive insurance industry, and we welcome the opportunity to work with both current and prospective captive owners, service providers and industry leaders as we grow the captive industry within our state.

We encourage you to consider attending two upcoming events: the Missouri Captive Insurance Association’s Captive Insurance Forum in St. Louis on September 17th and 18th and the Director’s Regulatory Summit on October 15th, also in St. Louis. Missouri will also host the Western Region Captive Insurance Conference in May 2015.

Consider visiting us any time your travels bring you to Missouri. The department has offices in St. Louis, Kansas City and Jefferson City and we use those offices to ease the burden for out-of-state travellers. We are happy to meet you in the location most convenient for you. These cities also have the added benefit of offering easy access to some of our state’s best amenities, as well as a multitude of insurance and captive insurance experts. The captive service providers necessary to operate captive insurance companies in Missouri are readily available.

Final thoughts

Missouri is known as the ‘show-me’ state. The most widely known legend attributes the phrase to Missouri’s US Congressman Vandiver, who served in the US House of Representatives from 1897 to 1903. While a member of the US House Committee on Naval Affairs, Vandiver attended a naval banquet. In a speech there, he declared, in part: “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.”

In Missouri, success means taking action. Our full-time team, dedicated solely to the captive industry, is ready to assist you with all of your captive insurance needs. Missouri appreciates the opportunities for economic development within the captive industry and dedicates the resources necessary to support its success. Our knowledgeable team ensures the licensing and ongoing regulatory process is efficient and effective.

We approach each captive individually to allow for innovation and success. Here at the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration we welcome the opportunity to ‘show you’ why Missouri has cemented its position as a top onshore domicile and why captives of all types and sizes call Missouri home.

To find out more about Missouri as a captive domicile, contact Maria Sheffield, captive programme manager at:
maria.sheffield@insurance.mo.gov or visit www.insurance.mo.gov/captive

For more information about MOCIA or to view upcoming events, visit www.mocaptive.com. The department supports MOCIA’s goal of providing networking and educational opportunities for our captive owners and the facilitation of captive growth in Missouri.

Meet Maria Sheffield, Missouri’s captive programme manager

Missouri’s captive insurance programme had been successfully led by John Rehagen since its inception until 2013 at which time Rehagen assumed the role first of deputy division director and shortly thereafter division director.

Maria Sheffield joined the department, replacing Rehagen in July 2013, bringing 17 years of insurance regulatory experience to her new role as Missouri’s captive programme manager. Sheffield’s insurance career includes serving as a previous insurance regulator and more than 11 years as an attorney in private practice representing clients throughout the country on insurance regulatory and compliance matters.

She was also active in developing and implementing comprehensive government relations strategies for many of her clients. Her broad-ranging insurance experience includes Fortune 25 companies, associations, reinsurers, TPAs, captives, self-insureds, agents and brokers and nearly everything in between. Her experience and knowledge of insurance matters from both a regulatory and business perspective has contributed to the continued success of Missouri’s captive insurance programme.