Building on success

Dan Towle, president of the Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA), told Captive International that the European market has all the right building blocks for growth.

According to Towle, Europe now has multiple domicile options and an active captive insurance infrastructure of service providers. The continent also has businesses with a growing need to control and manage risks.

“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the hard market have demonstrated the vital role of a captive as a risk management tool,” Towle added. “I am hopeful that these conditions, along with more options for cell captives, will make the captive market more accessible to a greater number of companies than ever before.”

He explained that European organisations that have been successfully using captives are now looking for ways to further enhance their ability to manage unusual or challenging risks. These captives serve as role models or catalysts for more businesses, including medium-sized organisations, to explore captive insurance as a risk management tool.

CICA describes itself as the only domicile-neutral captive insurance association, which makes it “uniquely positioned” to champion best practices, foster collaboration to increase understanding of the business reasons for captive insurance and develop a stronger, more impactful voice for the captive industry.

In addition, CICA partners with the European Captive Insurance and Reinsurance Owners’ Association (ECIROA) to protect the captive industry, Towle explained.

By collaborating, for example through submitting joint responses to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development or other regulatory organizations, CICA said that it is putting forward a stronger, unified voice on behalf of the captives industry. To enhance this collaboration, ECIROA’s board chair now serves on the CICA board of directors.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the hard market have demonstrated the vital role of a captive as a risk management tool.”
Dan Towle, CICA

Education and events

CICA is a resource for education and access to captive industry experts. One example is that every two years ECIROA and CICA co-sponsor the European Captive Forum which provides opportunities for captive owners to share strategies and concerns while also learning from industry experts.

Despite this collaboration Towle admitted that there is a still a great deal of work to be done in order to drive home the benefits of captives to the insurance industry and beyond.

“A challenge we have in common, whether it is in Europe, North America or elsewhere, is that captive insurance is often misunderstood,” said Towle. “Regulatory bodies don’t understand the complexities and motivations for forming a captive insurance company.”

Towle underlined the fact that CICA has relationships with domiciles and service providers around the world and that the organisation has long championed the importance of best practices and making sure captives are formed and operating correctly.

He added that there was another hurdle in Europe that CICA was seeking to overcome: regulation of the European captive market is more onerous than that of the North American sector.

“Anything we can do to help increase education and understanding with regulators that European captives are doing things right will help support future industry growth and opportunities,” Towle concluded.

The 2022 European Captive Forum will be taking place in Luxembourg, on November 9–10 at the European Convention Centre. The agenda has yet to be announced, but the organisers have said that it will feature 700 delegates from more than 30 countries.

According to the European Captive Forum it is the “perfect setting” to contribute and listen to the world’s leading captive owners and market professionals, through a series of networking events, session lectures and debates building a broader group of expert connections.

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