A victory by Republican Gov. James Douglas in next year's election in Vermont would be seen as a welcome sign of political continuity and stability for the captive insurance industry, the state's captive insurance leaders said.
"A known person is more comfortable than an unknown," said Michael Lusk, chairman-elect of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association board of directors, and a vice president and risk manager with agri-giant Archer Daniels Midland.
State insurance industry leaders said that no matter who won next year, there would be no question of Vermont's support for the industry. Whether a Republican or a Democrat is in the Statehouse, it won't make a difference.
"If things change, it would not change our outlook on the industry. It has no bearing on our business," said Len Crouse, deputy commissioner, Captive Insurance Division, Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration.
And Nicholas A. Parillo, vice president of global insurance with the Netherlands-based multinational Royal Ahold, and chairman of the VCIA board of directors, said the industry was too important to the state to let partisan politics get in the way.
"The captive insurance industry is so important for Vermont that there's no question continuity will go on," he said.
Crouse noted that the industry has continued to grow without political interference through the previous administrations of former governors Snelling, Dean and Kunin. Douglas has announced he will run for a fourth two-year term in November 2008.
And the captive insurance industry in the state has grown whether Democrats or Republicans control the legislature. The VCIA this year has more than 520 members, up from 260 members five years ago, according to Molly Lambert, president of the VCIA.
Earlier this year, the state licensed its 800th captive. In addition, two new employees have been added to the state's captive insurance department, and another two are scheduled to be hired next year.
In introductory remarks at the 2007 VCIA conference, Douglas even hinted he might remain in a leadership position for some time to come.
"I plan to be around awhile and hope my regulatory team will be as well," he said.
He also said the state continues to innovate and respond to the needs of the captive industry, and that that was why Vermont remains the leading U.S. domicile. Lambert said that she expected the conference "to finish close to 1,400" for attendees.
Nearly a quarter of attendees this year are first-timers, and 26 percent are captive owners. Attendees come from 40 U.S. states and 12 foreign countries, up from eight or nine foreign countries last year. "It shows that the interest in the captive industry has certainly grown."
The 22nd annual Vermont Captive Insurance Association conference proved to be the biggest yet, with as many as 1,400 attendees, including the state governor. Risk & Insurance was there as well to provide a daily play-by-play on all the important goings-on at the show.
Take a gander at our Show Dailies from the event to see what you missed if you didn't happen to make the trip to Burlington this year. Or if you did attend the event, take a look to remind yourself about all the informative sessions and meetings you had there.
For a look at Day 1 of the Show Daily, please click here. For Day 2, please click here.
September 15, 2007
Copyright 2007© LRP Publications