Connecticut is one of the newer and smaller captive domiciles in the United States, with significant growth lying ahead, state captive experts predict.
Just over a decade ago, Connecticut lawmakers passed legislation authorizing captive formation in the state. At the end of 2019, Connecticut had 17 captive insurance companies.
While the number of Connecticut captives—compared to many other domiciles—is small, several of those captives have very well-known parents, including media giant Thomson Reuters, which, in 2012, moved its Delaware-based captive to Connecticut, becoming Connecticut's first captive, and health insurer Aetna Inc., which set up a Connecticut captive insurance company in 2014.
A wide range of experts say—for a variety of reasons, including convenience and costs—that number will be rising.
"There is convenience in having captives in the state in which they are based" for captive parents, says Janet Grace, captive unit program manager with the Connecticut Insurance Department in Hartford. (Ms. Grace subsequently passed away in June 2020.)
At the same time, setting up a captive in the state where the parent is based cuts time and travel expenses, Ms. Grace added.
Another attraction is the depth of insurance talent in Connecticut, which for decades has been informally known as an insurance capital.
"This is an insurance center of excellence," said Stephen DiCenso, president of the Connecticut Captive Insurance Association and a principal and consulting actuary with Milliman Inc. in Wakefield, Massachusetts.
"There is no other domicile with the combination of traditional talent, captive insurance talent, and an InsurTech innovation center," Mr. DiCenso said.
Yet another strength Connecticut brings as a captive domicile is the quality of regulation, captive experts say. Ms. Grace, for example, "is one of the best captive regulators in the country," says Pam Ferrandino, vice president—national market engagement with Gallagher Bassett in Essex, Connecticut. "She has a deep working knowledge of the industry, along with great creativity," Ms. Ferrandino added.
Connecticut legislators also have been highly receptive to considering and making changes to the state's captive statute to keep it up to date.
"We have worked with legislators to keep the law fresh," said Michael Serricchio, senior vice president with Marsh Captive Solutions in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Indeed, Connecticut lawmakers have made numerous changes to the state's captive statute during the last few years.
For example, legislation passed in 2014 laid down provisions captives have to follow when moving to Connecticut from another domicile, as well as expanded the types of coverage a branch captive can write.
In 2017, lawmakers approved a measure that gave the state insurance commissioner discretion to allow captives—except risk retention groups—to maintain less than the required unimpaired paid-in capital and surplus. The measure also allows pure, sponsored, or industrial insured captives to apply for a certificate of dormancy if they have stopped doing business.
And, in 2018, legislators approved a measure that authorized agency captives as a new captive type.
Capital and surplus requirements differ by type of captive. For example, the minimum capital and surplus requirements are $250,000 for a single-parent captive, $500,000 for industrial insured captives, and $1 million for risk retention groups.