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Better is (still) Better

March 1, 2024 will mark the 25th year for Innovative Captive Strategies (ICS) – a milestone that you will hear more about in the year to come. Doing Business Boldly since 1999, the number of businesses participating in the captive industry has certainly grown. The number of ICS captives, owners, and broker partners have grown alongside the industry, but we remain firmly committed to the Better is Better captive insurance strategy.

The benchmarks and metrics of success are certainly different in 2024 than they were in 2004, but Better is (still) Better.

When I began my own captive journey at ICS in 2008, we managed 11 Property & Casualty (P&C) Group Captives, representing just over $100M in premium and boasting 225 captive owners. Fast forward to today, and we now manage 22 P&C group captives, representing nearly $500M in premium and quickly approaching 900 captive owners! Along the way, ICS has established itself as a leader in Employee Benefits captives and expanded our Consulting & Management services, solidifying our position as a true “one-stop shop” for captive insurance expertise.

While ICS and our group captives have evolved within the industry, our guiding principle of Better is Better and the strategy of providing greater control, stability and opportunity through captives remains at the core of the ICS mission.

Growth & Performance

The proven strategy of group captives combined with more business owners feeling pain in the traditional market have contributed to unprecedented growth of the industry in recent years. Captives are no longer the “best kept secret”.

As we begin 2024, I am thrilled to state that our captives, while experiencing tremendous top line growth, have only become more profitable, financially stable and efficient for our captive insurance owners. This is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of our captive owners who refuse to become complacent, aligning with ICS and our broker partners who have a vested interest in the success of our mutual captive clients.

While our captives are larger today than ever before, we are proud to look back and see how much better they are as a result.

Delivering Control, Stability & Opportunity

Control – Member & Group

You can’t have one without the other! What comes first? The chicken or the egg? Our nearly 900 captive owners are almost always privately held businesses, so we understand that control is one of the biggest reasons they are drawn to the captive insurance strategy. Control shows up in a group captive in two primary ways – control for the member and control for the group.

 Member control can be defined in many ways, but a simple way to sum it up is “knowing who your partners are.” I know firsthand that our groups look and feel different than they did in 2008, but the steady and consistent growth strategy of our captives has afforded our members the ability to maintain their voice when it comes to exercising control in their group.

Each voice can be heard, relationships still matter, ideas continue to be shared across the group, and perhaps most importantly, the transparency and accountability is prevalent throughout our captives. This contributes to the continuous risk management improvement of our captive owners. We take great pride in the countless testimonials from current and former clients who credit the captive strategy in making them a better company.

Group control points to the relevance, financial strength, and operating efficiencies that a group captive has in the marketplace. In 2008, the dynamics of realizing group control in the marketplace were different than they are today. The combination of growth and profitability are at the core of any business and captive insurance companies are no different. Ten years from now, the benchmarks will have evolved again. Our captives that keep a focus on perpetual, profitable growth will retain the group control they ultimately need without sacrificing member control.

Control – Stability & Opportunity

Captives that have consistently grown and maintained their profitability have not only weathered insurance marketplace pressures and rising claim costs but have also positioned themselves for greater stability and increased financial opportunity.

The ability to take on more risk for greater rewards has been instrumental to the success of our captives. In the early 2000s, an ICS captive being able to take on the first $500,000 claim layer and buy less reinsurance may have seemed unrealistic. Today, about half of our captives are in a position to take on this risk, increasing profit potential while dramatically reducing the fixed cost portion of premium.

Looking Ahead to the Next 25 Years

It is crucial to recognize our captive owners and broker partners who continue to innovate alongside us at ICS. The next 25 years hold the promise of continued evolution of group captives:

  • New lines of coverage
  • Higher captive retentions
  • Increased primary limits
  • New industries

Our captives are on the path to capitalize on these opportunities, as we uncover more ways to innovate. Our captive owners will always continue to resist the temptation to get complacent – that’s just who they are! It’s because of this “infinite game” mentality that our captives will be able to achieve greater control, stability and, of course, increased financial opportunity!

At ICS, our captives continue to maintain the delicate balance between member control and group control, providing the best of both worlds. Without a healthy, growing group that is in control of its destiny in the marketplace, member control begins to lose its value. Our focus at ICS is on delivering a group captive experience that provides both!

Intrigued by the possibilities of being part of an Innovative Captive Strategies group? Explore the unparalleled advantages of our group captives and embark on a journey of control, stability, and opportunity. Reach out today! Discover how ICS can redefine your approach to risk management and captivate your path to success.