Well, hello Molly!

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Former VCIA President, Honorary Member, and all around wonderful friend, Molly Lambert stopped by our offices last week, and, as many of you know, she is Vermont’s most respected community servant. Molly is doing a little work for a local affordable housing organization here in Burlington, Champlain Housing Trust, and it just so happens the stars align that bring the world of captive insurance and affordable housing.

This past year, the Vermont General Assembly passed an amendment in a housing bill that added captive insurers as a listed group that can take advantage of a tax credit that supports affordable housing. Currently banks and traditional insurance companies can take advantage of the credit. This change was welcome by both the Governor and legislature, as affordable housing is a priority for both.

CPA Mutual Insurance Company of America Risk Retention Group is the first captive insurance company to take advantage of Vermont’s Affordable Housing Tax Credit program. The captive purchased credits from the Champlain Housing Trust who will use the proceeds to create permanently affordable homes in Essex, Vermont.

CPA Mutual’s captive management company, Strategic Risk Solutions, worked with VCIA and the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation to bring the initiative to the legislature. The purchase of the tax credits will provide a reduction in state tax liability spread out over the next five years, while providing a lump sum up front for Champlain Housing Trust to subsidize four condominiums for sale in its shared equity program.  The revenue from the sale of the credits will subsidize the purchase of the homes. In exchange for this down payment assistance, buyers agree to share any market appreciation if they decide to sell at a future date.

William Thompson, president of CPA Mutual, commented: “This was an easy decision for us. To play a role in increasing the availability of affordable housing in Chittenden County is critical right now, and investing in the tax credits makes good business sense, too.”

Just like Molly to be on the side of good community and good business!  Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Rich Smith
VCIA President

Vermont Ranks High for Fair and Reasonable

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The results of the most recent Lawsuit Climate Survey conducted for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform were just released and Vermont gets another set of high marks. The poll explored how fair and reasonable the states’ liability systems are perceived to be by U.S. businesses. These perceptions matter because they can be influential in business decisions about where to conduct, expand, and constrict business operations or sales.

Vermont ranked #2 in the 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States, staying consistent with the 2015 Survey. The state came in first in the key element categories of scientific and technical evidence and judges’ impartiality.  I think this is just another example of the high standards we set for ourselves and our industries here in Vermont; standards that are also reflected in the recognized Gold Standard status of our captive insurance industry and regulation.

I will be out in Seattle next week for one of our world famous Captive Road Shows! Featuring the Risk Managers from Microsoft Corporation and Starbucks Coffee Company, attendees will learn the why’s and how’s of captive insurance, as well as hear their experiences in forming and operating and all about the captive climate and regulatory requirements in Vermont. Go to www.vcia.com/Events to see more. I hope you will join us if you can!

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Rich Smith
VCIA President