6 March 2015Law & regulation

North Carolina plans responsive law change

The North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) has revealed that it plans to recommend changes to captive law in the upcoming legislative session.

Speaking to Captive International, a number of staff in North Carolina’s captive insurance division explained that it plans to make the law responsive to what is currently going on in the market.

“The most significant change involves making our law, which we have always taken as a living document, receptive to the current market conditions,” said Ray Martinez, senior deputy commissioner in the company services group at the NCDOI.

The North Carolina Department of Insurance surpassed its estimate of licensing 40 captives by the end of 2014. In 2014, 49 captives were approved, bringing the total to 53 captives. The department became authorised to license captive insurance companies in late 2013.

Debbie Walker, director of captive insurance at NCDOI, explained that North Carolina was attractive as a captive domicile for two main reasons.

Firstly, she said, the absence of fees and mandatory department examinations or audits has made North Carolina a domicile of choice. Walker explained that the department uses its audit law to focus on captives with significant financial issues, rather than all captives.

“The North Carolina Captive Insurance Act provides discretion to the commissioner to enable the commissioner to properly regulate captives. This means focusing more time on those captives that have issues and less time on those captives that are properly managed," said Walker.

"We won't undertake audits simply for the sake of undertaking an audit. We feel that we can rely on independent audits and, unless there’s a problem we can’t resolve internally, we won’t initiate an examination." said Martinez.

Secondly, Walker explained that it is the departments’ goal to provide the best customer service and to be accessible and responsive to those in the captive industry.

Looking to the future, Walker is optimistic.

"The outlook for 2015 is incredibly positive. Our first full year was more successful than anticipated and we expect that 2015 will be another good year for North Carolina. We have already approved one application this year, have another one under review and there are several more in the pipeline."