First and foremost, captives of all types are most beneficial for organizations with an entrepreneurial spirit, especially those interested in investing in a long-term risk management solution. In particular, financially sound companies with strong risk management principles are the most ideal candidates. Both privately-held and publicly-traded companies can be well-suited for captives, but overall, organizations should have proven safety and loss control histories.
With that said, captives, and alternative insurance programs in general, aren’t for everyone. With all captive variations, if your organization’s losses exceed expectations, the program may cost more than a traditional insurance solution. However, when implemented properly and specifically chosen to meet an organization’s needs, captives consistently produce exceptional long-term results.
We work with each client individually to determine which captive offers the greatest benefit, but all captives share a few fundamental advantages. We refer to these benefits as “The Four C’s.”
1. Coverage Flexibility – Captives provide risk financing protection for a variety of insurance coverage areas, including: casualty lines (WC, general/products liability and automobile liability), property (including business interruption risks) and professional liability (E&O, medical malpractice, architect and engineers). Additionally, captives of any coverage area can be used to fund deductibles and retentions.
2. Cost Reduction or Stabilization – Most businesses know that if they are in better control of their losses, they will ultimately be in better control of their costs. Captives help organizations get there by serving as a cost-smoothing mechanism. They assume and manage a portion of an organization’s risk, and help member organizations reduce, stabilize and better predict costs over time.
3. Capacity Accumulation – Unlike traditional programs where insurance companies reap financial benefits when claims are lower than expected, captives enable member organizations to leverage underwriting profits and invest the income that builds over time. In addition to retaining the surplus as earnings in the captive or by distributing profits to shareholders, member companies can also use returns to assume additional risks, including increasing retentions or writing additional lines of coverage in the captive.
4. Control of Insurance Program – Above all else, captives enable organizations to gain control. In all types of captives, member companies are able to control nearly all aspects of their insurance programs, including: financing of insurance programs; coverage and retention of selection/structures, access to preferred service partners; greater involvement in the claims process; and, program design flexibility.
Beyond the Four C’s, additional benefits of joining a captive may include: