Advocacy: Your Role in Shaping the Future of Captives

It is scary to learn that the majority of policy makers do not know what Captive Insurance is and the ways a Captive can aid businesses.  Do you ever wonder if there is anything you can do to stop the propagation of bad information about Captives pushed by critics?

SIIA Has Led Advocacy Efforts for Captives

Much has changed in the world of captives taking the 831(b) election since their formation in 1986. The Self-Insurance Institute of America, Inc. (SIIA) plays a major role in shaping the direction of the industry and prioritizes:

  • Educating Congress Members
  • Preventing bad policy decisions and destructive legislation and regulation
  • Encouraging open and clear dialogue about Captives

SIIA is focused on reducing onerous requirements such as those imposed by Notice 2016-66 and the receipt of IRS letter 6336 and has taken the following steps to address concerns:

  • SIIA has been in conversations with the White House
  • SIIA sent a letter to the IRS and Treasury about burdensome, costly, and ill-timed requests on March 30, 2020. Here is a link to the full letter.

The advocacy efforts of SIIA has led to the following accomplishments:

  • The IRS removed Captives taking the 831(b) election from their “Dirty Dozen” list (a compilation by the IRS of the programs that represent “The worst of the worst tax scams”). 2020 is the first time since 2014 that Captives were not included on the list.
  • 23 parties including SIIA filed an Amicus Brief recently in reference to the case before the US Supreme Court: CIC Services LLC v. IRS.  For more details, click here.

What You Can Do To Help

In an attempt to build upon recent successes, SIIA is asking Captive Owners to consider joining its Advocacy efforts by contacting Ryan Work to setup meetings with Members of Congress to share their stories.  Congress Members want to hear from their constituents, and who is better to educate government officials than those that are utilizing Captives for real risk mitigation in their Companies.  The IRS was under the assumption that many coverages written by Captives insure for risks that are not real; yet here we are in the middle of a pandemic and one of the only coverages responding are Contingent Business Interruption policies issued by Captives.

As Ryan stated during the webinar,

“Doing nothing invites risk and doing nothing in the Captive industry creates issues.  If we do not create the dialog, those in opposition to Captives will fill that silence, which could result in restrictions or worse.  Those in support of Captives must speak out to prevent the loudest voice from being the critics.”

Sandra L. Fenters is a member of Ryan Work’s SIIA Advocacy Committee for the last 3 years.  She has met with many legislators in an attempt to educate them about and advocate for Captives.  It is something Sandra and Capterra feel is necessary and important.  We would love to build our advocacy team with a focus on education so that Congress Members understand the need for Captives and do not simply base their viewpoint solely on what is portrayed by critics.

Although the goal is to educate and solve this problem, the reality is that this is an ongoing effort due to the turnover in Congress.  Alone, SIIA cannot reach out to all 450 Members of Congress, but with the help of Captive Owners, we can together build a narrative and reach many more.

If you are interested in telling your Company’s story and helping to educate Members of Congress on the need for Captives, please let us know and we will put you in contact with Ryan Work so that he can aid in setting up a meeting with a Member of Congress or a staffer.

Thank you for considering playing a key role in the future of Captives by aiding with Advocacy efforts.  We hope to work with you in this capacity in the near future.

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What Prompted This Communication

The information above was reviewed in a recent webinar Capterra Risk Solutions, LLC participated in on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 titled SIIA Captive Owner Engagement & Policy Update presented by Ryan Work the Vice President of Government Relations for the Self-Insurance Institute of America, Inc. (SIIA).

In summary, the webinar covered the background of SIIA, their goals, approach, and recent activity, a timeline of the past 5 years as it relates to Captives, and an ask for Captive Owners to participate in advocacy and education efforts to engage Members of Congress.   If you would like to view the webinar, please let us know and we will obtain approval to share a link to the recording with you.

Delaware Captive Insurance Association 2014 Spring Forum Highlights

We attended the Delaware Captive Insurance Association Forum on May 12th and 13th in Wilmington, DE.  The event was well attended with 79 participants from many disciplines all working in the captive space: attorneys, actuaries, CPA’s, captive managers, and Delaware regulators including the Insurance Commissioner, Karen Weldin.  The forum offered a great opportunity to meet with several key players working with captives domiciled in Delaware.

Sandra was asked to present Tuesday morning and conducted a lively session regarding policy construction with Andrew Rennick, Esquire of Gordon, Fournaris & Mammarella, P.A.  We had an interesting session with Steve Kinion, the Delaware Director, Bureau of Captive and Financial Insurance Products, where he shared his views on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) move to change the definition of multi-state insurers which may adversely affect captives.  Steve also went over his proposed changes to Delaware regulations primarily affecting series captives, as well as providing new loan guidelines for all captives.

One of the participants of note was Chaz Lavelle of Bingham Greenebaum Doll, LLP.  Chaz was the Tax Counsel for two key taxpayer victories in captive insurance cases including the Humana Inc. v. Commissioner which decided the “brother-sister” issue regarding risk sharing and risk distribution.

Great forum and time well spent!

What Doesn’t Belong in Your Small Captive

Last week, we attended (via Webinar) a presentation at the CICA International Conference, held in Arizona, entitled “Best Captive Practices for 831(b)s- Do Them Right or Don’t Do Them At All.

This presentation looked at small captives from the perspective of a captive manager, an actuary, an attorney, and a captive owner.  It was an interesting presentation covering many aspects of captive insurance companies and their structure including best practice guidelines.  While there were many topics worth sharing, one of the initial items discussed was what NOT to place in your small captive (may be appropriate in a larger captive, or a group captive):

  • Primary, working layers of easily accessible commercial coverages like general liability and auto liability;
  • High frequency coverages like workers compensation, auto physical damage; and
  • Long tail or primary coverages seen as inherently “risky” like medical malpractice.

What you are likely to want to place in your small captive are more “traditional,” low frequency risks that potentially have a high severity:

  • Weather related risks: flood, wind;
  • Pollution liability and clean-up; and
  • Excess or Wrap/DIC policies.

You’ll also want to consider including coverage for some more non-traditional risks (but be careful that these are not just “business risks”) including coverage that is not available at all in the traditional insurance market and currently self-insured.

Want to learn more?  Please give us a call, or send us a comment or question!

Pittsburgh Business Times Business for Breakfast 9/12/2013

Capterra Risk Solutions attended a wonderful presentation on September 12, 2013, hosted by Pittsburgh Business Times and the Southpointe Golf Club.  “Social Media in 20 Minutes a Day” was presented by Cindy Rack the Social Media Strategist for Social Voice Marketing, LLC. Her mission is to bring sanity to social media. Cindy leads workshops, provides video-based trainings, strategy plans, consulting, and customizations.

To see photos from the program, please visit: http://bizj.us/t7bcr/i/3

For more information on Social Voice Marketing, LLC and Cindy Rack visit: http://socialvoicemarketing.com/