What a year we’ve been through. With so many strong declarations—and cynical jokes—about the scourge of 2020, it’s no wonder people have wanted it to end. But, despite the dark clouds that have been what seems a permanent condition throughout the year, there have been some bright spots, albeit too few. As we transition to a new year, we’d like to take a breath of gratefulness for that brightness and look forward to what’s ahead.
In our world, we managed a few highlights for which we are very grateful.
We started off the year with a bang with Vermont having licensed 22 new captive insurance companies in 2019. This strong growth included new licenses for 14 pure captives, four sponsored captives, two risk retention groups (RRGs), one special purpose financial insurer, and one industrial insured captive.
The captive insurance legislation adopted in 2020 highlights the continued collaboration between Vermont’s executive and legislative branches to ensure the state’s captive law remains the industry benchmark. The 2020 bill included provisions related to Vermont’s captive protected cells, allowing separate accounts within a cell of a sponsored captive; simplifying agency captive owner’s disclosure requirements, aligning them with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) statutory accreditation standards for Risk Retention Groups; and allowing dormant captives to remain intact at a minimum capital level so they may be reactivated in the future.
Powering the Power 50
Captive Review released their annual “Power 50” and “Ones to Watch” selections. These prestigious polls recognize the most influential individuals in the global captive insurance industry. A record ten captive insurance professionals with ties to Vermont were recognized, more than any other jurisdiction, including our own Sandy Bigglestone.
In August, we attended the Vermont Captive Insurance Association’s annual conference, one of the captive industry’s most well respected and popular events. While this was their 35th year hosting the event, it was unsurprisingly, the first year they’ve had to do it virtually—and it was well done. Hats off to VCIA for putting on a successful conference during these challenging times.
Brittany Nevins was hired as the new Captive Insurance Economic Development Director, replacing Ian Davis, Vermont’s former Director of Financial Services. Responsible for the marketing and business development of Vermont’s captive insurance industry, Brittany brings a wealth of economic development and regulatory experience and will be a key voice in continuing to grow Vermont’s captive insurance presence and stature throughout the world.
On the regulatory side of things, we passed our 5-year accreditation with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) with flying colors!
We were winners of multiple awards this year, something we attribute to our strong regulatory team, supported by attentive executive and legislative branches, and a deep bench of service providers. The awards included:
- 2020’s Domicile of the Year for domiciles having written over $5 billion in gross premiums by U.S. Captive Review (7th time)
- U.S. Domicile of the Year as part of Captive International’s U.S. Captive Awards 2020
- 2020’s International Domicile of the Year as part of the European Captive Review Awards hosted by Captive Review.
Latin American Outreach
After having to cancel an in-person trade mission last winter due to the pandemic, Vermont teamed up with the VCIA and the U.S. Department of Commerce to virtually host the first international trade mission with Mexico this past September. The webinar addressed the specific needs of the Mexican market and the benefits of Vermont as a captive domicile.
Looking ahead, we believe we will have even more things to be grateful for to reflect upon this time next year. Some of the things we are looking forward to are:
Our 40th Anniversary
Yes, it’s true, 2021 marks the 40th year that Vermont enacted its captive insurance law. It’s been quite a ride and we want to celebrate. Throughout the year, we will be telling the story of how and why Vermont has been a chosen domicile for 40 years, highlighting the major events and key players that have brought us to where we are today. Stay tuned.
Our Annual Review
See how the Vermont captive industry did in 2020. Final numbers are still being compiled but the word is that captive formations have increased significantly over the prior year. Some good news for the industry in a year without much to celebrate.
VCIA Legislative Day
The Vermont Captive Insurance Association will hold its annual legislative day for its members on January 27, 2021. VCIA, the Department of Economic Development, and the Vermont regulatory team will give a captive insurance overview and share their vision of legislative updates for the year ahead.
Continued International Outreach
Following up on last fall’s virtual international trade mission with Mexico, we, along with the VCIA, hope to conduct an in-person trade mission in Mexico sometime in 2021, conditions permitting. We will also continue to reach out to international markets in Latin America and elsewhere with virtual education opportunities highlighting the benefits of captives, in general, and Vermont as a domicile, specifically.
VCIA Annual Conference
Join us for the Vermont Captive Insurance Association’s Annual Conference on August 10-12, 2021. For new and seasoned members, VCIA’s signature event features a mix of educational and topical sessions with panelists from across the globe. While this year’s conference will again be virtual, it promises to be even better than last year.
We also look forward to safely attending the variety of events offered throughout the year, from forums and conferences like the World Captive Forum and the NRRA, CICA International, and RIMS conferences to the host of educational webinars and podcasts offered.
Mostly, we look forward to working and engaging with you, the people of our industry, to continue strengthening the relationships with those of you who’ve been with us through the years, and developing the new relationships that will help our industry thrive even more.
Keep looking for brightness and have a Happy New Year.
For more information on Vermont’s captive industry, visit www.vermontcaptive.com, call Brittany Nevins at 802-398-5192, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.