CAPTIVE INSURANCE: Everything You Need to Know

Captive Insurance Florida company business
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Captive insurance is a form of self-insurance that is tailored to the specific risk management requirements of an individual business. Captives are sometimes a smart choice since they can provide a number of benefits, including large tax advantages, underwriting profits, and increased management over policy terms and claims. Read further to learn more about everything about captive insurance for a business in Florida. I also added some tips on how to set up a captive insurance company. Enjoy the ride!

What Is Captive Insurance?

A “captive insurer” is an insurance company that is entirely owned and managed by its insureds, whose principal function is to insure the risks of its owners, and whose insureds receive a share of the captive insurer’s underwriting earnings.

These distinctions between a mutual insurance business and a captive insurer are not entirely evident. The policyholders of a mutual insurance company theoretically own and run the business. However, no one who merely holds a policy with a mutual insurance firm has any authority over the business. In cases where policyholder action is necessary, the policyholder may be asked to cast a vote.

However, this typically entails that the policyholder will be given a proxy and given instructions by the company’s board of directors over how to cast its vote. The ownership status of the insured expires along with the insurance. The policyholder does not engage in the management of the insurance firm and has not made any investments in it.

Types of Captives Insurers

There are two primary categories of captive insurers:

#1. Pure captives

When referring to captives who solely insure the risks of their owner or owners, the term “pure captive” is typically used. Captives with a single parent have a single owner. Group captives are owned by several people. To form a group captive, a number of people or businesses join together to form a captive insurance company. Because they only cover insureds within the same industry group or with homogeneous risk, industrially insured group-owned captives often provide group buying power and other risk management efficiencies.

A group of insureds from completely diverse industrial groupings can jointly own a captive under a separate type of group-owned captive. A reinsurance pool, which is a sort of heterogeneous group captive, pools risks together in order to increase their combined underwriting capacity. Direct insurance is not offered via a reinsurance pool. It reinsures the owners’ captives or the admitted insurers who provide the owners of the pool with insurance. Other risk management services for the group may also be offered by the group captive or pool.

#2. Sponsored Captive Insurers

Many aspects of a pure captive insurer are present in a sponsored captive insurer, often known as a “non-owned” or “nonaffiliated” captive. In order to meet the captive’s insureds’ risk financing goals, risks are financed outside of the commercial regulatory framework and the insureds must risk their capital. But unlike its insureds, who are referred to as “participants,” a sponsored captive is not created by them, nor does it always share their risks.

It is possible for a business with ties to the insurance sector to create a sponsored captive for the benefit of its clients, but there need be no other ties between the sponsor and the captive’s members. The captive’s statutory capital, also referred to as core capital, is contributed by the sponsor. In many sponsored captives, insureds only need to pay an access fee rather than any capital. Sometimes, people refer to these as “rental captives.”

It is not always the case that the insureds in a sponsored captive share the same pool of risk. Every insured participant may have a different underwriting account maintained by it. The assets in one participant’s account may not be utilized to settle liabilities in another participant’s account unless the corresponding parties have engaged in an agreement to do so, and in some domiciles, these accounts are legally segregated or protected, and the term “cell captive” is used.

A sponsored captive and a pure group hostage differ significantly in this regard. Unlike in a pure group captive, where each insured is a member or owner and hence shares risk with the others, the sponsored captive can be set up with multiple legally distinct underwriting accounts.

How Does Captive Insurance Works?

A captive insurance company is a type of in-house insurance coverage provided by a business. When deciding whether or not to spin off an insurance subsidiary, businesses must weigh the potential gains against the costs of additional management. Complex compliance considerations also need to be taken into account. Therefore, most captive insurance companies rely on traditional insurers to cover at least some of the risks faced by their parent enterprises.

How to Set Up a Captive Insurance Company in Florida

The following are steps to take to set up a captive insurance company in Florida:

#1. Ascertain the Most Likely Captive Framework

Captive insurers come in numerous varieties. Therefore, choosing the kind of captive that best fits your risk management requirements is the first step in setting one up. 

#2. Perform a Feasibility Study in Captivity

The next phase in the procedure is to carry out a captive feasibility analysis after you’ve decided which of the fundamental captive structures could best meet your demands for risk management. A captive feasibility study is a research project designed to ascertain the viability of a proposed risk financing scheme for a specific organization or collection of related organizations.

#3. Speak with and Keep a Captive Manager

A captive manager is used by most captives; however, not all of them do. The establishment, growth, and general success of the captive are significantly influenced by the captive management. Accounting, actuarial, claims, domiciliary and regulatory, investment, pricing and underwriting, and even tax knowledge are just some of the areas of competence a captive manager can provide. Even though captive management might not be an authority on every one of these topics, it does have established vendor networks that can help your company find the appropriate business alliances.

#4. Select a Domicile

The choice of the ideal captive domicile is equally critical to the success of a captive insurance business. Even though your captive may not be able to reside in any of the more than 70 captive domiciles available worldwide, maintaining strong working relationships with your regulators is quite advantageous. You should get assistance from your captive manager when thinking about potential captive residences.

#5. Preparation and Submission of a Captive Application

The last stage in the process is to fill out and send an application along with all necessary documents to the location you have selected for your captive’s residence. You will receive assistance from your captive manager in completing the required materials. You will also have to show proof to the state that you have the money you need for the captive in a way that the regulator can understand. Generally speaking, approvals can take up to 90 days, but domiciles are getting better at expediting this procedure.


Uses of Captive Insurance for a Business

The following are the uses of captive insurance for a business:

#1. Captive Insurers Put Their Own Capital at Risk

Any insured who buys captive insurance needs to be prepared to make an initial financial commitment. In a captive insurance company, the insured has both ownership and control over the business, as well as financial rewards from its success.

It is thought that policyholders in a joint insurance company should get dividends if the company makes money.

#2. Operating Outside of the Market for Commercial Insurance

Captive insurers voluntarily expose their own funds to risk by operating outside of the commercial insurance industry, as it is normally understood. The traditional regulatory framework for insurance makes an effort to “protect” the insured from the insurer. Rules are expensive to create, expensive to enforce, and occasionally ineffective. Their primary goal is to limit the scope and methods that an insurer is allowed to use.

Compared to commercial insurers, captive insurers frequently have far lower capital and do not offer state-guarantee fund protection for their insureds. However, rather than paying to use the capital of commercial insurers, those who use captive insurance opt to share in the risks and profits involved with employing their own risk capital. They make this decision because they think captive insurance provides a better option than commercial insurance. Furthermore, access to commercial insurance is not constant. Captives, being non-traditional commercial insurers, are categorized as belonging to the “alternative market,” also known as the “alternative risk transfer (ART) market.”

#3. To Reach the Goals of Risk Financing

The best course of action may be to establish a captive insurer if the products provided by insurers are insufficient to suit an insured’s demands for risk financing. Organizations looking for a more cost-effective risk financing mechanism, coverage not accessible in the “traditional” insurance market, exorbitant prices, or capacity constraints are the major causes of their desire to better control their risk management programs. Some further benefits of captive insurance include

#4. Reportage

Commercial insurance is often avoided because it is either too expensive, inadequate, or unavailable for the covered party. As long as the captive follows strong underwriting, actuarial, and regulatory requirements, it is possible for a captive insurer to successfully offer coverage for challenging risks that is customized to meet the unique needs of the insured(s).

#5. Pricing and Availability Stability

Over time, as a captive grows and develops its own capacity for risk retention, pricing stability is achieved. The larger the captive insurer’s capitalization, the greater its risk retention and immunity to fluctuations in the commercial insurance market. The availability of coverage can also be stable with a captive insurer.

#6. Improved Cash Flow

There are several methods for achieving improvements in cash flow. Underwriting profits are increased by reduced losses and eliminated by losses retained through a captive. Safety and loss control are given more priority since captive insurance, by its very nature, promotes efficient loss control with financial benefits.

The captive keeps the underwriting income and gains from the invested premiums that a traditional insurer would have kept. Because enormous levels of capital and surplus are usually kept, the monetary amounts are significant even with conservative investment portfolios.

Reduced expense considerations related to commercial insurance, finally, enhance cash flow. Typically, insurers reserve at least 60% of collected premiums for loss payments, with the remaining 40% or so going toward overhead and profit. The expense components of captives are significantly lower than those of commercial insurers. 

#7. Increased Control over the Program

Captive insurers differ from commercial insurers in that their insureds own and manage the company. A minimal percentage share in the company’s surplus does not indicate this kind of ownership or control. It shows a sense of ownership over the company’s strategic goals.

Captive Insurance Company and Taxation

Having a captive insurance company is a pretty simple idea when it comes to taxes. Insurance premiums are paid by the parent company to the captive insurance company, with the hope that the payments will be tax deductible in the parent company’s home country. Captive insurance company establishment is now permitted in a number of US states. The benefit of not being subject to taxation is highly sought after by the parent company.

Whether or not the parent company receives a tax benefit from forming a captive insurance company is determined by the type of insurance that is transacted. For a transaction to be classified as insurance in the United States, risk shifting and distribution must exist, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) openly announced that it would prosecute captive insurance companies for alleged abusive tax avoidance.

Certain risks can cost the captive insurance company a lot of money and perhaps force it into bankruptcy. Due to the diverse pool of risk that single occurrences carry, large private insurers are less likely to go bankrupt.  

Captive Insurance’s Benefits and Drawbacks

Although there are benefits and drawbacks, captives insurance in Florida can be a desirable alternative for businesses trying to manage and allocate risk.


  • Possible financial savings
  • Tax benefits
  • Increased command over claims and coverage
  • Guaranteeing earnings


  • Company capital is in jeopardy.
  • Possibility of inadequate coverage
  • Overhead costs
  • Issues with compliance

Who Owns a Captive Insurance Company?

The parent company that the captive insurance business insures forms, owns, and controls the captive insurance company. 

What Is the Purpose of Captive Insurance?

Many companies and associations that choose to underwrite their own insurance instead of paying premiums to third-party insurers and wish to take financial control and manage risks can consider forming a captive insurance company. your coverage is also customized to your requirements.

How Is Money Saved By Captive Insurance?

Market Access for Reinsurance. A captive provides direct access to the global reinsurance markets because reinsurers often work with insurance companies. By avoiding traditional insurers, markup expenses are avoided by the insured.

Which Kinds of Insurance Do Captive Offer?

It is not the intention of captives to provide complete protection from all hazards. Businesses that make use of them typically depend on traditional commercial insurers for risk mitigation. Captive insurance is commonly utilized for general liability, product liability, professional liability, and workers’ compensation, despite the fact that captives allow corporations to handle risks that regular insurers don’t (or won’t) cover.

Final Thoughts

A captive insurance company can help a business manage expenses, take advantage of tax breaks, and insure risks that traditional insurers won’t take. Even though setting up a captive can be difficult, experts from outside the company can guide businesses through the process and assist them in avoiding making expensive mistakes.


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