Department of Commerce & Commerce Affairs, Insurance Division - Captive Insurance Branch

Hawaii has the distinction of being both one of the oldest and largest captive domiciles in the United States.

In 1986, Hawaii lawmakers passed legislation authorizing the formation of captive insurance companies in the state. The growth in the number of captives since then has been significant. Indeed, since 2013, the number of Hawaii captives has increased 25 percent, rising to 231 at the end of 2019, up from 184 in 2013.

The increase in Hawaii captives, though, is far overshadowed by their huge premium growth. In 2019, Hawaii captives generated $10.95 billion in premiums, up dramatically from $4.36 billion in 2015.

Captive managers attribute Hawaii's steady growth as a captive domicile to several factors, especially the expertise of management firms and regulators.

"Hawaii is a mature captive domicile with a rich history of serving a wide range of captive owners, large and small. We have a robust local service provider infrastructure, highly experienced in meeting the unique needs of captives," said Fay Okamoto, senior vice president, Hawaii captives, for Artex Solutions Inc. in Honolulu.

"As a result, Hawaii captive owners receive high-level, consultative, and timely responses from regulators and service providers," Ms. Okamoto added.

Others concur with that assessment. "We have a very robust network of service providers," said Matt Takamine, president of the Hawaii Captive Insurance Council and executive managing director and captive operations leader for Beecher Carlson in Honolulu.

Referring to Andrew Kurata, deputy commissioner and captive insurance administrator for the Hawaii Department of Consumer Affairs Insurance Division in Honolulu, Mr. Takamine said Hawaii has a "top-notch" captive regulator along with an accessible and knowledgeable staff.

Captive executives agree with that assessment. Regulators are "warm and friendly and accommodating. We appreciate that," said Diane Abbett, president of California Healthcare Insurance Co. Inc., a Risk Retention Group, which first began operating in Hawaii 30 years ago and provides medical malpractice insurance coverage to hospitals and other healthcare entities, as well as physicians and dentists.

Indeed, Mr. Kurata said a key regulatory function is to develop and maintain strong relationships with captive sponsors and their managers.

"We pride ourselves in our ability to form partnerships with managers and captive owners to help achieve their goals," Mr. Kurata said.

Hawaii captive premium taxes are modest, with 0.25 percent tax rate on captive premiums up to $25 million, with the tax rate falling to 0.15 percent on premiums between $25 million to $50 million and a 0.05 percent tax rate on premiums from $50 million to $250 million. No taxes are assessed on premiums over $250 million.

Capital and surplus requirements vary by type of captive. For example, the minimum capital and surplus requirements are $100,000 for a single-parent captive that only is used for reinsurance, $200,000 for a single-parent captive that is used for direct insurance and reinsurance; $500,000 for association captives and risk retention groups; and $500,000 for a sponsored captive.

Of Hawaii's 231 captives, ownership is spread out among different industries. For example, 67 captives are owned by construction and real estate firms, while 43 are owned by telecommunications and manufacturing companies and 35 are sponsored by financial services companies.

Company Contacts

Mailing Address:
335 Merchant Street, Room 213
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 586-0981

Virtual Contact:

Captive Domicile Summary

Since its establishment as a captive domicile in 1987, the state has become the leading domicile in the Pacific Rim in terms of the number of captives managed, the supporting infrastructure available, and the premium underwritten. Honolulu is one of the leading centers of commerce in the Pacific. Hawaii strives to build on the advantages it holds with regard to its location, political and social stability, and natural features. Since their initial inception, the state's captive laws have been updated to modify the requirements for investments, cap premium taxes, address special purpose financial vehicles, and allow smaller entities to take advantage of segregated cell captives. In order to encourage growth of the industry without jeopardizing standards, the state evaluates each captive application on its own merits. This allows captive owners the flexibility to work with insurance regulators in setting up acceptable program structures tailored to fit their individual needs.

The Hawaii Captive Insurance Council sponsors an annual forum that focuses on the most relevant topics and key issues facing the captive industry. More information about the forum and the Hawaii Captive Insurance Council is available at the council's website.

Captive Domicile Statistics

Total Captive Count* Hawaii
Year Captives
2019 231
2018 231
2017 230
2016 208
2015 197
*Includes active and inactive captives and excludes cell captives.
Captives' Gross Written Premium Hawaii
Year Premium Volume
2019 $10.95billion
2018 $10.0 billion
2017 $7.35 billion
2016 $6.23 billion
2015 $4.36 billion