"When someone calls, we need to be available and to respond quickly. We try to turn around calls and emails within a day. We want to work with captives, not be a hindrance," said Debbie Walker, senior deputy commissioner of the Captive Insurance Companies Division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance in Raleigh, North Carolina.
That regulatory accessibility is welcomed by captive sponsors. "We have that ability to pick up the phone and have good and reasonable business discussions. These are highly accessible regulators," said Peter Brunstetter, executive vice president and chief legal officer in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for Novant Health, a large healthcare system. Its North Carolina captive, Novant Health Casualty LLC, which is managed by Marsh Captive Solutions, covers a wide variety of risks, including medical malpractice, general liability, and medical stop loss.
Captive managers also applaud the responsiveness of state regulators. "The captive team is very well-staffed and very focused on finding solutions. There is, for example, very quick turnaround on captive applications and requests," said Martin Eveleigh, chairman of Atlas Insurance Management in Charlotte, North Carolina.
State lawmakers also have been responsive to suggestions to amend the captive statute. Legislative changes approved by lawmakers in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018 include the addition of special purpose captive insurance provisions, provisional licensing provisions, and allowing protected cell captives to form incorporated and unincorporated cells. The legislative changes also exempt captives from an in-state board meeting requirement if the captive uses at least two North Carolina service providers, giving the state insurance commissioner authority to determine the amount of capital and surplus needed for protected cell captives and special-purpose captives, as well providing the commissioner authority to declare that a captive insurer is an inactive captive insurance company, with further authority to exempt inactive captives from premium taxes and filing and reporting requirements.
Initially, much of the state's captive growth came from small and medium-sized businesses, Ms. Walker said. Growth of captive insurance companies from those business sectors has continued. In addition, the portfolio of North Carolina licensed captives has become more diverse through the years in their size, structure, and operations.
While most of the state's captives fund property and casualty risks, including general liability, professional liability and commercial auto liability, more captives now are providing medical stop-loss and employee benefits coverages, as well as tenant liability coverage, Ms. Walker said.
Since 2014, the North Carolina Captive Insurance Association (NCCIA) has sponsored an annual conference in the state. More information about the conference is available on the NCCIA website.