Vermont Captive’s 2019 resolutions

Author: Jill Hoffman

With the New Year right around the corner, we wanted to offer up some lighthearted captive resolutions for 2019. From all of us here in Vermont, we wish you a very happy holiday season and great 2019!

In 2019 we’re going to…

  1. Invest in others success 

“For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others.”—Eleanor Roosevelt

If you have been to a captive insurance conference in the last year, you know that a perennial hot topic of discussion is the shortage of talent in the industry. Whether it is the aging workforce, difficulty recruiting young professionals, or the time and resources required for training and upskilling, we know that the supply of talent is not meeting the demand for captive employers. Fortunately, the industry is rising to meet the challenge and together we are making it easier than ever to invest in the next generation of captive employees. In 2019, consider how you can share your expertise with others by participating in the many professional development, mentorship and educational opportunities offered by our friends at VCIA, CICA and ICCIE. In Vermont, we will be participating in the University of Vermont’s job shadow program and are also working with Champlain College to develop a student-oriented captive insurance “Road Show.” In 2019 we’re investing in the next generation of captive leaders, and we hope you will too!

  1. Be an industry champion 

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. Its not.” — Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

What does it mean to be an industry champion? Well, using the words of Dr. Seuss, it means we need to care. Caring about the welfare of our industry can take many forms. One might ask, how effective are we at communicating the value of our captive? Are we educating our board and our leadership on the benefits of captive insurance and the ways in which our work benefits the company, the community? Do we support organizations whose job it is to advocate for captives? Do we promote best practices? In a time when captives are seemingly under constant scrutiny, 2019 will be a great year to start spreading the word about the good work of our industry; speak proudly about your captive program; talk about what’s happening at Butler University, spread the word about Vermont’s affordable housing tax credit program, support the trade associations, stand up for best practices—and do it loudly!

  1. Focus on the fundamentals

“There’s nothing more important than fundamentals.”—Bill Belichick

According to studies, over 80% of people fail to stick to their New Year’s resolutions for longer than six weeks. Psychologists believe the reason we don’t succeed is because we overthink how arduous our resolutions will be. So with that in mind, we have vowed to focus on the fundamentals in 2019.

The fundamental characteristics of successful captives include the following: A clearly defined business purpose and plan for sustainability; a well-defined underwriting approach; a commitment to long-term and transparent relationships with your service providers; and a thorough oversight process provided by a captive manager within a stable and legislatively supported domicile.

Lost in the constant conversation about innovation is the important concept of continuous improvement. For captive owners and risk managers, 2019 will be a great time to reexamine and review your company’s feasibility study and current state of programs; identify your most effective program design and focus on maximizing the value of your captive. Similarly, for service providers and regulators, focus on communication, accessibility, timeliness and quality; strive to be fully transparent in your communications and continue to develop and foster strong working relationships with the companies you serve.

As all great coaches know, there’s nothing more important than the fundamentals! (Go Pats!)

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