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Regulators Share Guidelines for Successful Risk Retention Groups

Regulators Share Guidelines for Successful Risk Retention Groups

NRRA meeting highlights keys to long-term success for liability insurance programs.


Regulators from eight states came out in support of the National Risk Retention Association conference in Chicago October 3-5, sharing their insights on risk retention group applications in their jurisdictions.  NRRA Executive Director Joe Deems laid down the baseline in his remarks to conference attendees when he called for “purpose driven risk retention groups” as a key to long-term success of these liability insurance programs.


Sandra Bigglestone, Director of Captive Insurance for the State of Vermont, affirmed the comments from Deems when she noted that her office looks at the worthwhile purpose of proposed risk retention groups, noting that the potential for writing profitable business cannot be the only rationale for a program.  Risk retention groups are created by insureds to solve problems in insurance faced by businesses such as lack of affordable coverage, poor claims support and lack of responsiveness.


During a panel discussion, regulators from Tennessee, Delaware, District of Columbia, Montana and Vermont voiced similar interest in and support for well-managed risk retention groups.  Steve Matthews of the State of Montana observed that regulators generally are looking at sound financial planning for solvency and surplus in reviewing applications.  For example, Matthews noted the importance of adequate reinsurance so that a single claim would not unduly deplete capital. Steve Kinion from Delaware and Jennifer Stalvey from Tennessee talked about the experience of program managers while Sean O’Donnell of the District of Columbia discussed asking good common-sense questions and being ready to confer with colleagues from other jurisdictions.  While each state leads with its own strengths as a domicile, regulators talk to each other because they share a commitment to a healthy captive and risk retention group industry.


regulators share guidelines for successful risk retention groups

Joe Burgess of CHSI Technologies moderated a cybersecurity panel with (left to right) Heather Engel of Sera-Brynn, Rita Garry of Freeborn & Peters, Zach Raizen of RSM US and Stuart Ferguson of The Underwriters Group.

Conference attendees also participated in a variety of educational sessions during the conference.  CHSI Technologies’ Board member Joe Burgess asked four industry experts, Heather Engel of Sera-Brynn, Rita Garry of Freeborn & Peters, Zach Raizen of RSM US and Stuart Ferguson of The Underwriters Group, to tackle the topic of self-protection against cyber liability.  The panel offered risk retention groups advice on how to take their first steps to protect themselves against hacking, ransomware and other attacks.  An internal committee to understand what data you have, how your vendors are protecting your data and what your priorities are is a good first step, noted the panel, adding that businesses are overwhelmed and lack expertise so they do nothing and that is a mistake.