Ever fantasized about living in a beautiful, bucolic setting but quickly did a reality check because you thought you’d have to make too many sacrifices concerning your career – less opportunity, little room for growth, lower salaries, less interesting work? Well, that’s not the case with a career in the Vermont Captive Insurance industry.
In its simplest form, captive insurance is a type of “self-insurance” where a subsidiary corporation is established to provide insurance to its parent company and, in some instances, its affiliates. It allows organizations, usually large ones, to take financial control and manage risks through their own insurance companies, rather than paying premiums to third party insurers. This allows companies to tailor their insurance coverage to address the specific risks affecting their businesses. Benefits range from reduced operating costs and better control of cash flow to potentially becoming a source of revenue, and more.
To create a captive insurance company, you must form it in a state or country that permits and regulates such companies (known as a captive domiciles). Vermont is one of those states. In fact, Vermont is the number one domicile in the United States and the third largest domicile worldwide.
As a leader in the industry, Vermont offers an extensive network of employers. From captive management firms, actuarial companies, accounting and law firms and other professional. service providers, there are over 400 captive insurance related jobs. As Maigh Wright, an Actuarial Consultant and Vice President with Marsh Captive Solutions, puts it, “You can work with an insurance company or with the various consultants that support captives. You can really create your own path.”
Plus, you get to work with the people making important decisions for Fortune 500 companies, Michael Rubalcaba, an Account Manager for Strategic Risk Solutions, explains, “You get to see the challenges those companies have and get a real sense of purpose because you affect the results that make a difference to these companies, helping them fulfill their purposes. It’s an invaluable point of view for young professionals.”
That’s evidenced by the fact that Vermont is the domicile for eighteen of the Dow 30, and forty-three of the Fortune 500, including Starbucks, Disney World, multiple medical centers and providers, and companies in manufacturing, real estate, construction, hospitality, agriculture, transportation and waste management, Brittany Nevins, Captive Insurance Development Director with the Vermont Department of Economic Development, adds.
And just because we are talking about “insurance,” doesn’t mean it’s full of boring jobs. Maigh explains that creativity and innovation play a large role. Risk management continues to evolve as new risks and businesses emerge – think drones, cannabis and space travel – that require creative solutions.
The industry is also really like a family. The culture is about collaboration — among insurance companies, captive managers and the multitude of service providers. “We all gather at the various seminars and industry conferences,” says Maigh. “The industry has a very welcoming and collegial feel,” Katie Haining, Assistant Director, Risk Management & Safety at the University of Vermont, adds. “There’s a great sense of community and I’ve become friends with my counterparts across the world.”
The money side of things is not bad either. Brittany says that the average salary for people in the Vermont Captive industry is approximately $91,000.
But, of course, a well-paid job isn’t the only consideration. Vermont has a strong culture of work/life balance and offers an abundance of opportunities to take advantage of that culture.
Many outdoor activities are available and, more importantly, are easily accessible. From hiking, snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, fishing, and just being in nature’s outdoor spaces, there’s something for everyone. Plus, Burlington, where much of the industry is located, punches above its weight as far as what a small town has to offer – plenty of restaurants, shopping, arts, music, and more. And, if you need a big city fix, Montreal, Boston and Albany are only a few hours’ drive away.
As Brittany says, “you really can have the life you want to live.”
To learn more about working in the Vermont captive industry from Maigh, Michael, Brittany and Katie, watch our latest video here