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Best’s Market Segment Report: Rated Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Barbados Captives Sustain Outperformance Over Commercial Insurers

December 18, 2020 GMT

OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec 18, 2020--

The operating results of captive insurance companies AM Best rates in Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Barbados continue to outperform the segment’s counterparts in the commercial casualty insurance sector, and in 2019, pretax operating income for this group reached the highest level ever recorded.

A new Best’s Market Segment Report, “Rated Bermuda, Cayman Islands, and Barbados Captives Continue to Outperform Peers,” states that AM Best’s rated Bermuda, Cayman Islands and Barbados (BCIB) captive composite reported a pretax income of approximately $1.4 billion, a 46% increase over the previous year. The combined ratio for the composite saw a 6.9-percentage point deterioration to 91.8; however, the five-year (2015-2019) average combined ratio of 85.0 was approximately 15 points better than the 100.0 combined ratio posted by the BCIB captives’ peers in the commercial casualty segment. Between 2015 and 2019, BCIB captives added $2.7 billion to their year-end capital and surplus and paid $1.4 billion in dividends. The use of captive vehicles during this period over the use of commercial insurers translates into nearly $4.2 billion in savings. The new high-water mark in pretax operating income was driven by the improvement in the equity markets early in 2019, which bolstered realized and unrealized capital gains. In addition, net earned premium increased by nearly 10% to drive the higher income total.


Growth in captives’ earned premiums is due mainly to the firming of U.S. commercial lines. Whether the captive market will respond to the COVID-19 crisis with new coverages or premiums written remains to be seen. Due to their concentration in U.S. businesses, captives’ response could depend on whether the United States passes a federal pandemic program. The terms and composition of any such program would be key as well — that is, whether it is similar to the national flood program, with insurance provided by the U.S. government, or if it more closely resembles a joint public/private program like those for terrorism and crop.

Captives no longer are formed solely to protect against the lack of available capacity or peaks in the market cycle. Instead, they have become a solution for companies interested in flexibility, risk financing and more hands-on risk management for enhanced safety, loss control and loss prevention. These companies have essentially taken more ownership of their risks, making captives increasingly integral to corporations worldwide.


“Because of their expertise, the homogeneity of the risks they insure and their close proximity to those risks, captives tend to be more nimble than the insurance industry overall and have generally been able to adapt and improve outcomes faster than the standard market,” said John Andre, managing director, AM Best.

To access the full copy of this special report, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=304492.

AM Best remains the leading rating agency of alternative risk transfer entities, with more than 200 such vehicles rated in the United States and throughout the world. For current Best’s Credit Ratings and independent data on the captive and alternative risk transfer insurance market, please visit www.ambest.com/captive.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2020 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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CONTACT: John Andre

Managing Director

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5619

john.andre@ambest.comChristopher Sharkey

Manager, Public Relations

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159

christopher.sharkey@ambest.comJim Peavy

Director, Public Relations

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644





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PUB: 12/18/2020 08:30 AM/DISC: 12/18/2020 08:31 AM