Captive Day Under the Gold Dome

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Every January VCIA hosts Legislative Day in Montpelier, Vermont, for our members to get close up to the folks who pass the laws and remind them how successful the captive industry has been to the State – not that Vermont’s legislators need reminding!

In an ever grim world of battered budgets and various crises, it’s nice when an industry can walk into the State House to just say “thank you” for the work our Representatives and Senators do to support our cause. Over 70 VCIA members from as far away as Oklahoma (thank you Heather McClure!) descend on the capitol to make contact. And what we hear back from the members of the General Assembly and Administration is “what can we do for you this session?”  I had one prominent senator come up to me and succinctly describe the issue of self-procurement taxes and their impact on captives! I find Legislative Day to be one of the most enjoyable captive events of the year and I think the members who are able to join would agree.

On another note, our sincerest congratulations to John Thompson who was just named to succeed Dan Labrie as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of Housing Authority Risk Retention Group, Inc.  HAI Group is a family of companies that serve the public and affordable housing community with special, niche insurance programs as well as other value-added products and services, and is a longstanding member of VCIA.  I have known John for some years now from his position as the director of captive insurance for the Connecticut Insurance Department. He is a great choice to take over from one of the giants in the captive world and I look forward to working even more closely with him going forward.

Thank you all very much, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Rich Smith
VCIA President

VCIA Annual Legislative Day and Ski Day

ski-day-photo-webI am writing this blog a littler earlier than I usually do, because I will be hosting VCIA’s annual Legislative Day in Montpelier (for those of you who don’t know, Vermont’s capital), and our Ski Day at Stowe Mountain this week.

Legislative Day is our best opportunity to meet with state officials and legislators to thank them for all their support over the years. We begin with a legislative breakfast at the State House cafeteria where I start the gentle, soft sell on captives and end with a reception that evening where I am already twisting arms. In between, our members hear from Vermont’s regulators, talk to the House and Senate leadership on issues facing the state, and testify before a committee or two on the state of captive insurance today.

And Vermont leaders love to hear from us about the difference captives make in the lives of our members businesses and organizations. They don’t often get a lot of thanks for what they do under the dome! When they hear about how a captive based in Vermont helps saves lives in a hospital system in Oklahoma they are amazed. Makes you feel good all around.

Thank you all very much, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

~Rich

A Fresh Start

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Happy New Year, captive community! Here’s hoping 2015 will be a great year for captive insurance. We are already off to a good start with the House passing a TRIA reauthorization bill as one of their first acts. The bill is the same language as the compromise bill that was worked out with Senate and House leaders last year but was held up due to one lone Senator, who has since retired.

The measure that passed Wednesday — H.R. 26, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 — calls for extending the program for six years, gradually increasing the trigger for activating the backstop to $200 million from the current $100 million and gradually increasing the industrywide retention to $37.5 billion. The bill also would establish a new National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB) that would streamline interstate agent licensing.  The prevailing wisdom is that the bill should pass without too much difficulty in the Senate, but nobody is really sure of the timing. My hope, is with both Congressional bodies under the same party leadership a lot of the partisanship that stopped any movement on legislation will dissipate somewhat.

And speaking of examples of strong bipartisan support, I hope all of you who can will join us next week, on Thursday, January 15, in Montpelier for VCIA’s annual Legislative Day. This is our best opportunity to meet with state officials and legislators to thank them for all their support over the years as well as engage them on the issues that face our industry today. If you are able to join us for the day (or part of the day) it sends a terrific message to Vermont’s leaders. And please encourage your colleagues to register as well – I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have our members mobilize for this day!

Thank you all very much, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

~Rich