Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions - Captive Program

If there are two words that succinctly and accurately describe Arizona as a captive insurance company domicile, those words would be "impressive growth."

In 2020, Arizona had 131 licensed captives, up from 113 in 2016.

The growth in captive premium volume has been especially impressive. In 2020, Arizona captives generated $9.3 billion in premiums, up well over 40 percent since 2015.

Captive managers attribute that growth to several factors. One key factor: Arizona, unlike, many other domiciles, does not impose a tax on captives' premium volume.

"That is a very attractive feature. That is where Arizona stands out," said Kimberly Wack, a director with Aon PLC in Phoenix.

To be sure, captive insurers pay other fees, but they are modest. For example, captives pay an annual $5,500 licensing fee.

"We are one of a very few domestic domiciles that does not impose premium taxes on captives. Instead, we have a flat and very reasonable annual renewal fee," said Vincent Gosz, chief captive analyst with the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions in Phoenix.

Also unlike many other domiciles, state captive regulators have funds, authorized under legislation passed in 2017, to cover expenses they incur in promoting the state's captive insurance industry.

"This is an indication of how supportive state legislators are of the state's captive statute," said Stephen Briggs, a legislative and public affairs officer with the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions in Phoenix.

Other factors propelling captive growth include the high quality and accessibility of captive regulators.

"They are very flexible and easy to work with," said Aon's Ms. Wack.

At the same time, captive regulators take the time to meet with captive sponsors and managers.

"They are very available and interactive" with the Arizona Captive Insurance Association (ACIA), noted Victoria Fimea, a member of the ACIA's Board of Directors, and earlier a senior vice president, legal counsel, and head of the regulatory department—North America for Artex Risk Solutions in Mesa, Arizona, adding that a state captive regulator always attends the association's breakfast meetings.

Those attractions have not gone unnoticed. Indeed, some of the biggest and best known US corporations in industries as diverse as health care, manufacturing, banking, and insurance, have set up captives in Arizona.

"We have some of the premier captives in the world," said J. Michael Low, the prior president of the ACIA and of counsel with Kutak Rock LLP in Scottsdale, Arizona.

At the same time, Arizona's appeal as a captive domicile has gained the attention of those with captives in other domiciles.  In fact, between 10 percent and 15 percent of Arizona's captive insurance companies have come from other domiciles where they were originally licensed.

And more captives are expected to move to Arizona. "We have seen an uptick of interest" from captives in other domiciles, Mr. Gosz said, adding that "the future is very bright. We have grown steadily and predictably, and we think that will likely continue in the future."

Arizona capital and surplus requirements vary by captive type. For example, the minimum capital and surplus requirement for single-parent captives is $250,000 and $500,000 for most other types of captives.

In addition, captives have to hold at least one annual meeting in Arizona and have at least one Arizona resident director.

Company Contacts

Chief Captive Analyst
(602) 364–2008

Mailing Address:
100 N. 15th Ave., Ste. 261
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 364–2008

Captive Domicile Summary

Arizona has had legislation for limited purpose reinsurance companies, known as "Life and Disability Reinsurers" (LDRs), since the early 1970s. Historically, LDRs enjoyed many of the benefits realized by captive insurance companies. The law applicable to LDRs was modified in 1999 making unaffiliated credit life and disability reinsurers similar to captive insurers. There are still a number of life, credit life, and credit disability companies licensed under the old special statutes.

The Arizona Captive Insurance Act, went into effect in July 2002. It was amended in 2014 to make the law consistent with National Association of Insurance Commissioners regulations.

The Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions has a Captive Insurance Division and touts an experienced regulatory staff. With the exception of the years during the economic downturn in the late 2000s, the captive market in the state has enjoyed moderate, steady growth. The combination of efficient regulation, a pro-business environment, and the proximity to captive owners in a number of western states has given Arizona a solid captive insurance presence.

The Arizona Captive Insurance Association, along with captive associations in Missouri, Nevada, and Utah, are members of the Western Region Captive Insurance Conference LLC, whose sole purpose is to hold an annual captive conference. The next conference is planned for June 14–16, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

For more information about the conference, go to https://www.westerncaptiveconference.org, call (480) 289–5769, or email [email protected].

Captive Domicile Statistics

Total Captive Count Arizona
Year Captives
2020 131
2019 128
2018 124
2017 121
2016 113
Captives' Gross Written Premiums Arizona
Year Gross Premium
2020 $9.3 billion
2019 $9.4 billion 
2018 $9.2 billion
2017 $11.3 billion
2016 $7.6 billion