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Captive Insurance Arrangements For Workers Compensation -Still Viable?


Captive Insurance Arrangements

I have not posted on captive insurance arrangements for many months. The last time I posted was when the IRS surprised me by basically leaving captives in place. I had thought the IRS would not let captives keep their tax-free status overall.

Business People Captive Insurance Arrangements At Conference Table

In this tough economy, companies and governmental entities are searching heavily for the most economical risk transfer strategies possible. Captives may be the answer to some but not all insurance situations. I used to think that employers had to be large enough to be self-insured before even initiating a captive analysis.

The rent-a-captive option now even allows companies that are not large enough to be self-insured under Workers Comp to possibly use captives as a very economical method to handle your Workers Comp risk and claims. I thought that I would examine rent-a-captives a little further. After reading the information on the IRS website on captives, my head was spinning.

In a rent-a-captive’s simplest form, a corporation will purchase insurance from a traditional insured and reinsure a portion of the risk and loss fund to a rent-a-captive structure. The corporation will typically have a contractual agreement with the captive that will provide the insured with the underwriting and investment profits on the program via some form of a dividend. The claims are paid by the fronting carrier and reimbursed by the rent-a-captive.

2021 Update – Rent-A-Captives remain very viable even with the risk of micro-captive audits by the IRS.  Rent-a-captives are not standalone Captive arrangements.  The arrangements should always be made at arms-length even though part of the insurance agreement is with a carrier.

Captives do contain a level of risk that should be considered when looking at alternative insurance arrangements.

I will cover the different types of rent-a-captives in my next few posts.

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Rent-A-Captives For Workers Compensation

Rent-A-Captives Types Rent-A-Captives are becoming more popular in Workers Comp as a method of risk transfer. Rent-A-Captives used to be viewed as hybrid arrangements that

James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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