Vermont, Industry Remember Captive Insurance Pioneer George Chaffee

The word condolences being handwritten on a white piece of paper

February 24, 2021

The word condolences being handwritten on a white piece of paper

George Chaffee, who played a key role in the development and passage of Vermont's landmark captive insurance company statute in 1981 when he was commissioner of the state's Department of Insurance and Banking, died earlier this month. Mr. Chaffee was 82 and died of complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. Chaffee, according to an article years ago in Business Insurance magazine, helped win the support first of then Governor Richard Snelling, and later, the Vermont Legislature, for the captive insurance legislation.

"Vermont is considered by the captive industry to be the 'Gold Standard' due to expert regulatory staff, the vast infrastructure of service providers in Vermont, and the strong support of the Legislature, all of which can be attributed to the work and vision of George Chaffee," David Provost, Vermont's deputy commissioner of captive insurance, said in a statement.

Others who worked with Mr. Chaffee said he was a leader in convincing businesses and others to set up captives in the state.

"George was dedicated to recruiting companies to Vermont to form a captive. He would take the time to show them around Montpelier and introduce them to the governor. Prospective companies were impressed beyond words at the time and attention given to them," Jeff Johnson, a former commissioner of the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, and Securities and now an attorney with Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC in Burlington, said in a statement.

Mr. Chaffee, who was Vermont's insurance commissioner from 1980 to 1984, played other important roles in the captive insurance industry.

He was a founding member of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association and also was a president of Skandia International Risk Management (Vermont) in Burlington.

Today, Vermont, with 589 captives at the end of 2020, is, by far, the largest captive insurance company domicile in the United States.

February 24, 2021