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Launchways Announces Rollout of New Group Insurance Captive Program

At Launchways, we’re constantly looking for new innovative,
effective ways to help businesses meet their HR, employee benefits, and
business insurance needs. This month, we’re proud to announce we are adding Group
Insurance Captive solutions to our ever-expanding portfolio of solutions for
growing businesses.

In this post we’ll:


      • Define Group Insurance Captives in a
        straightforward and useful way

      • Explain the value proposition of our group
        captive membership

      • Describe why we’re so excited to be offering
        this new program

      • Provide next steps for businesses hoping to
        learn more about our group insurance captive

    What is a Group Insurance Captive?

    A “captive” insurance company is an organization founded
    with the sole purpose of providing business insurance to its owner(s).

    Essentially, a captive is the purest form of self-insurance.
    A business or group of businesses forms a captive in order to meet their
    insurance needs without being beholden to the packages, limitations, and pricey
    markups of the traditional marketplace.

    A group insurance captive specifically involves a group or
    “pool” of businesses with similar scales or goals coming together to create and
    share a captive insurance company. That new company, managed by a designated
    third party, obtains insurance for each owner/member organization, processes
    their claims, and maintains the overall health of the pool.

    How Do Businesses Benefit from Joining Our Group Insurance Captive?

    So, now that you know what a group insurance captive is, the
    natural question is: Why would you want to be part of one?

    Organizations that form or participate in a group captive
    have greater independence, greater power for self-determination, and greater
    potential for profit. Let’s take a look at some of the specific ways those
    gains play out:


        • In the traditional marketplace, you rent
          your insurance. With a captive you own it.



              • Total continuity of services as desired

              • No stress over price-gouging at policy renewal

          • In the traditional marketplace, business
            insurance is an expense; in a captive, it’s an opportunity
            for return



                • Get up to 60% average return on premium

                • Use safety initiatives/risk management skills to
                  maximize your payout

            • With your own insurance company, you can get exactly
              the coverage you need and eliminate overspend.



                  • No more bundled services you don’t want or need

                  • Turn self-knowledge into efficiency-of-scale

              • Owning your insurance company means you
                call the shots!



                    • Work with your pool partners to set the tone for
                      the captive

                    • No more getting sold out or let down by the
                      insurance company

                • With a captive, you have greater access to
                  insurance data
                  than ever before.



                      • Understand your needs, claims, and expenses
                        better than ever

                      • Gain insights to help streamline coverage/claims
                        processing in the future

                How to Know if You’re a Good Fit for Our Group Insurance Captive:

                Once you hear about the potential benefits of group
                insurance captives, it’s natural to wonder if your organization is a fit to

                If your business can answer “YES!” to each of the following
                questions, then you’re a great candidate for our new group insurance captive


                    • Do you pay $150,000 or more in insurance premiums each year?

                    • Does your company have an entrepreneurial spirit?

                    • Does your company desire greater control and stability?

                    • Does your company understand the concept of “risk for reward?

                    • Is your company committed to safety?

                  Why Join a Launchways Group Insurance Captive in 2020?

                  Now that you’ve got a general understanding of what group
                  insurance captives are and what kind of value they offer businesses, it’s time
                  for us to answer another important question: Why us?

                  Since our inception, Launchways has focused on providing
                  support and solutions that help growing businesses thrive in the immediate
                  future while also planning for long-term success.

                  We’re entering the world of Group Insurance Captives because
                  we understand that business insurance needs are increasingly diverse, and more
                  and more organizations are feeling frustrated by the limitations of the
                  traditional marketplace. We want to help our clients bet on themselves, forge
                  powerful partnerships with likeminded businesses, and get the exact coverage
                  they need to thrive.

                  We believe in the power of growing organizations to improve
                  the business space and lead the next wave of American innovation. That’s why
                  we’re helping businesses find potential pool partners, organizing our group
                  insurance captive, and connecting organizations with the management and
                  expertise they require to ensure their captive experience is successful.


                  Here at Launchways, we’re excited to be helping our clients
                  gain the power and freedom group insurance captive membership can bring. We’re
                  looking forward to applying our innovative approach and emphasis on specific
                  customer goals to help businesses gain the power, efficiency, and profit
                  potential our group captive offers.



                      • Group insurance captives offer businesses true
                        ownership over their insurance, enabling:



                            • New profits from return on premiums

                            • Increased control over claims management

                            • Innovative partnerships with pool peers

                        • To be a strong group captive candidate, a
                          business should pay at least $150,000 in annual insurance premiums and be a
                          stable but innovative organization

                      How to Learn More:

                      Are you interested in learning more about our captive program and if your business qualifies? Request a free consultation with our business insurance experts.

                      The Top 5 Myths About Captive Insurance Programs

                      Captive insurance programs enable businesses to reduce their insurance overspend, fully control their coverage, and turn safety initiatives into profitable returns.

                      Unfortunately, though, many organizations shy away from forming or joining captives because, when they start doing online research, they often run into incorrect and damaging myths about captives.

                      Moving forward, we’ll:

                      • Identify the top five myths about captive insurance programs that are prevalent on the web
                      • Debunk each myth using evidence
                      • Describe the true value and possibilities of a captive insurance program.

                      Myth #1: You have to be a huge corporation to benefit from a captive

                      Why is this myth so prevalent?

                      When you first start researching captive insurance programs, most of the messaging on the first page of search engine results focuses on how captive programs are used by large corporations who hold multiple businesses and operate facilitates across the globe.

                      Why is this a myth?

                      It’s true that single-member captives (in which one business creates its own insurance company) are generally formed by large corporations, but that’s not the full story! Group insurance captives or “pool” captives specifically exist to bring together medium-sized businesses so they can gain the insurance negotiating power of their bigger competition.

                      When it comes to whether or not your business is a good candidate to join a group captive, your business’ size, headcount, or profits don’t enter into the equation at all. It’s all about the scale of your business insurance premiums.

                      The Bottom Line

                      If you pay more than $150,000 annually in premiums, you are a strong captive pool candidate. You don’t need to be a multi-national corporation or a Fortune 500 giant – just a business with a goal of doing things better.

                      Myth #2: Entering a group or pool captive exposes your business’ health to other people’s risks

                      Why is this myth so prevalent?

                      The idea that group insurance captives expose your money to other business’ risks is a logical fallacy. That is, it seems right on its surface when you have a cursory knowledge of the topic, but a deep dive proves it to be completely false.

                      When businesses hear the words “group” and “insurance” together, they incorrectly assume risk and responsibility are shared equally among the pool members for claims. They connect the dots and assume that if one pool member has a “bad year,” it damages their business allies as well.

                      Why is this a myth?

                      Pool captives are specifically structured to protect the vast majority of each member’s investment from the risks and claims of others. Over 90% of your premiums are specifically set aside for your use.

                      That means less than 10% of your total investment can be lost due to claims made by other members of your pool.

                      In fact, in Launchways’ group captive program, each member retains complete ownership of 98% of their funds. This means that with the Launchways group captive, only 2% of your investment is considered “at-risk.”

                      The Bottom Line

                      Yes, group captive membership requires the willingness to take on increased risk compared to the traditional insurance marketplace, but it’s absolutely false to say that your potential for profits is at the mercy of your pool partners.

                      Myth #3: When you’re in a captive, one big claim can blow up your business

                      Why is this myth so prevalent?

                      Like Myth #2, the “catastrophic claims scenario” is a logical fallacy: it sounds right, but it isn’t!  When people hear “self-insurance,” they assume that means “we’re on the hook for every dollar and cent of every potential claim.”

                      Unfortunately, this myth is also sometimes perpetuated by insurance providers and brokers who are hesitant to work outside the traditional marketplace. Their motivation is to protect their own interests and ease of doing work, not yours!

                      Why is this a myth?

                      One word: reinsurance. Whether you operate your own single-member captive or participate in a group or pool program, part of your investment is always in reinsurance to prevent exactly this scenario.

                      That reinsurance policy prevents unforeseen or much-larger-than-expected claims and issues from damaging your business’ long-term viability or standing as a strong group captive partner.

                      The Bottom Line

                      Reinsurance is a part of every captive program, and it’s there to protect you from potentially harming the health of your business.

                      Myth #4: We’d have to change the way we do business to form or join a captive

                      Why is this myth so prevalent?

                      The idea of creating your own insurance company sounds pretty daunting at first. Many people assume they’ll need to restructure their organization to make the captive viable or transform themselves into a more attractive group pool member.

                      Like so many other myths we’ve tackled, this one is at least in part in heavy circulation because many insurance package providers aren’t crazy about the idea of businesses cutting them out as middlemen.

                      Why is this a myth?

                      The whole point of a captive insurance program is that it allows your business to be itself more fully – you gain the ability to insure outside-the-box risks, gain ownership over the claims management process, and reclaim power and autonomy that traditional business insurance limits.

                      Captive insurance programs aren’t about changing your business, they’re about changing the circumstances under which you do business. Furthermore, in the case of group captive programs, independent managers handle pool responsibilities, meaning there’s minimal change to your day-to-day operations and responsibilities.

                      The Bottom Line

                      A captive is about supporting your business better and providing greater economy of scale. The idea that you need to significantly “whip yourself into shape” to be a captive candidate is false.

                      Myth #5: Captive programs used to offer great perks, but the value isn’t there anymore

                      Why is this myth so prevalent?

                      Anytime people perceive the value of a product or service has been reduced even a small fraction, there’s often an impulse to throw out the baby with the bath water.

                      Single-member captive programs used to offer large corporations significant benefit as tax shelters, and it is true that most of those incentives have been removed. In reactionary style, many of the big business blogs have published content claiming captives “aren’t what they used to be.”

                      Why is this a myth?

                      As we’ve established repeatedly in our myth-busting exercise, insurance captives aren’t just for the biggest companies in terms of workforce or economic power. Just because those industry leaders are upset about changing regulations, doesn’t mean you should be tricked into thinking like them.

                      In fact, some of those same regulatory changes that have made captives slightly less profitable for large, multinational entities have actually made it easier for medium-sized businesses to form effective pool captives. Even if captives have slightly declined in value for the biggest business, they’re still loaded with potential for mid-sized businesses.

                      The Bottom Line

                      Captive insurance programs still offer tremendous value: independence, authentic ownership of your business’ insurance and claims process, and the potential to make a dividend instead of turning overspend into loss are just three examples of why they’re still relevant and extremely useful. Don’t be scared off just because they’re not the big-money tax shelter they used to be.

                      Key Takeaways:

                      As we’ve seen, captive business insurance programs (both single-member and group or pool) allow organizations to navigate the insurance market in a more personalized, powerful manner.

                      Even though most entities aren’t big enough to pull off a single-member captive, medium-sized businesses are increasingly forming alliances that provide big value and the potential for profit.

                      There are plenty of myths out there about captives, most of them designed to make the programs seem scary and risky, but it’s important to remember:

                      • You don’t need to be a gigantic corporation to qualify for a group or pool captive – you just need to pay at least $150,000 in annual premiums
                      • Within a group insurance captive, over 90% of your investment is protected and sequestered for your use only
                      • Reinsurance is built into captive programs to prevent catastrophic claims events
                      • Captives should be about enabling you to do better, not forcing you to jump through hoops
                      • Even if they’re not spectacular tax shelters anymore, there’s still immense value in the independence and negotiating power captives create

                      The Beginner’s Guide to Captive Insurance

                      Captive insurance programs have been popular among business’ largest corporations since they were first created in the 1950s. As we enter 2020, however, captives are enjoying a resurgence as a growing solution for businesses of all sizes trying to think outside the box.

                      Captives allow businesses to maintain direct control of their insurance programs, creating a fully personalized experience with its own unique challenges and opportunities for reward.

                      Even though captive insurance programs can help businesses navigate the challenges of employee benefits management, reduce costs, and build a more useful experience for employees, there’s a major lack of understanding about what they are and how they work.

                      Moving forward, we will:

                      • Define captive insurance for beginners
                      • Explain the difference between a captive and traditional commercial insurance
                      • Review the main pros and cons of captive insurance
                      • Provide guidelines to help determine if a captive insurance program might be right for your business

                      What is Captive Insurance?

                      A “captive” insurance company is an organization that exists only to meet the specific insurance needs of its member/owners. That means the business or businesses insured by the captive are its sole and total owners.

                      Captive insurance can help a business fulfill all its insurance needs, from employee benefits and general business insurance to worker’s compensation, product liability, auto insurance, and so on. That’s why captives have historically been popular with Fortune 500 companies and major corporations: they provide complete independence and allow businesses to circumvent many of the inefficiencies of the commercial insurance market.

                      When you have an insurance company whose only focus is the support of your business, you can achieve some pretty impressive stuff.

                      • You can get your employees the benefits plans they need while controlling expense for them and the business
                      • You can scale your coverage to your exact needs to minimize overspend
                      • You can eliminate the offerings you don’t need while finding the best version of what you do need

                      In order to gain that independence, however, you must assume the possibility of greater financial risk. When you make the switch to captive insurance, you’re gambling with your own money, and no longer have your insurance provider to fall back on because you are now the provider.

                      Different Types of Captive Insurance

                      It’s important to know that there’s more than one kind of captive. Let’s take just a minute to define the main types of captive insurance programs out there.

                      • Single-Parent or Pure Captive: A captive that is owned by and works exclusively for its parent company and its subsidiaries (as for a corporation)
                      • Group or Association Captive: A captive insurance program created by multiple small or medium-sized companies pooling their resources and risk to access the advantages of a captive
                      • Rental Captive: An existing, independent captive operated by a business entity that other organizations can opt into temporarily
                      • Protected Cell Captive: A captive in which each organization’s assets and liabilities are kept separate, allowing access into the captive but minimizing the biggest possible financial gains and losses
                      • Agency Captive: A captive managed by a specific agent, who is empowered to reinsure the company by contracting with traditional carriers based on their assessments

                      How is Captive Insurance Different from Commercial Insurance?

                      Now that we’ve defined “captive,” let’s explore how captive insurance is different from many of the other models you might be familiar with.

                      What’s the Difference Between Captive Insurance and Being Fully Insured?

                      In short, a captive is the complete opposite of being fully insured.

                      When you’re fully insured, you pay a set monthly fee to your insurance company and they assume all financial risk. Being fully insured is most useful if you don’t have the capital available to cover anticipatable risks.

                      A captive is only possible if your business has more than enough capital available to cover anticipatable risks or if you partner with other organizations to pool resources.

                      What’s the Difference Between Captive Insurance and Being Self Insured?

                      Captive insurance is a form of self-insurance, but the two terms are not interchangeable.

                      A self-insured business maintains a specific savings account for unforeseen insurance costs and uses that “rainy day fund” to cover losses or fill gaps in coverage. However, that coverage is still purchased through the traditional insurance marketplace.

                      A captive is far more complex than basic self-insurance because it involves an organization creating its own insurance entity, not simply socking away money to pay for insurance-related costs.

                      What’s the Difference Between Captive Insurance and Mutual Insurance?

                      In a mutual insurance company, the provider is owned by its policyholders, acts on their collective best interests, and distributes any profit through either lower rates or payouts.

                      That sounds pretty similar to captive at first, but there’s one key difference: a mutual company, although owned by its policyholders financially, acts as an independent entity. Policyholders buy in and then trust the provider to do good by them.

                      In a captive, the insurance company is part and parcel of the greater organization which it serves and is steered according to identified business needs.

                      Advantages of Captive Insurance

                      We’ve laid out a lot of information about what captive insurance programs are, how they work, and how they can transform an organization’s approach and identity. Let’s pause to reflect on the positive potential of captives.

                      A captive insurance program can help you:

                      • Reduce insurance costs – When you own the insurance company, there’s no mark-up for services and no need to purchase any coverage you don’t want or need. Captives offer businesses the best and most granular control over their costs compared to any other insurance model.
                      • Reward yourself for good planning – Captives provide the most benefit to businesses with great self-knowledge. If you understand your assets, risks, needs, and scale well, you can create a captive that protects you with minimal overspend in a bad year and generates difference-making profit in a good year.
                      • Create ideal employee benefit packages – Each workforce has its own specific, identifiable healthcare and employee benefit needs. Unfortunately, even with a great broker, it’s tough to create bespoke coverage that meets everybody’s needs and saves everybody money. A captive allows businesses to get creative and find new ways to get their employees exactly what they need without having to spend a dime on things they don’t.
                      • Insure outside-the-box risks – Sometimes an organization needs to take a big risk and gamble on itself to take the next step. Finding insurance to protect investors and keep the core of the business whole should one of those major strategic gambles fail is more difficult than ever on the open market. If you have a captive insurance program, however, you can create whatever coverage you need and avoid needing to “sell” a carrier on your business plan.
                      • Specific tax benefits – There’s a misconception that all the tax benefits of captive programs have been eliminated over the last few years, but that’s actually not true. First of all, all premiums an organization pays to its own captives are tax deductible. Furthermore, in down years, he captive’s status as an insurance company can earn its parent organization loss reserve deductions.

                      Disadvantages of Captive Insurance

                      Of course, as we’ve seen, the captive program approach isn’t right for every business. Let’s pause briefly and reinforce the main reasons and organization would not want to create a captive.

                      Unfortunately, with a captive insurance program, you:

                      • Assume increased risk – When you form a captive program, you are your own support system. There’s nobody else paying into the pool of funds that’s used to bail you out in a pure captive, and even in a group captive, if multiple partners have bad years, it can lead to major financial complications. If your business is risk-averse by nature, a captive might not be right for you.
                      • Take on up-front expense – Establishing a captive is a time-consuming process that requires creating an insurance company from scratch.That means, as you’re planning and building your program, you’ll need to take on more hires, acquire new licenses, and bring in some consultants who are captive experts. At the same time, you need to allocate capital to underwrite your plans.
                      • Create new management responsibilities – People sometimes misunderstand that a captive can be managed by a human resources department’s employee benefit expert. That’s actually not true, as the captive is a full-time, constantly operational insurance company. That means either bringing in new managers to operate the division or creating new responsibilities for other members of your core team.
                      • Risk taking a step back –It’s possible that, in its initial years, your captive might not do as good of a job as a traditional provider. If you’re not comfortable taking one step back to take two steps forward, a captive probably doesn’t fit your leadership style.
                      • Don’t get the tax benefits you would have in the past – While captives still deliver some tax perks, they’re definitely not the shelter and deduction powerhouses they used to be. With that said, if your main motivation for creating a captive is tax protection, you’re likely not a good candidate for a captive program in the first place.

                      How to Know if Captive Insurance is Right for You

                      In general, captive insurance is best for businesses that are:

                      • Large and stable (or medium-sized and stable, backed by a group of similarly stable partners)
                      • Comfortable taking risks with the potential for high reward
                      • Thinking and operating in an open-ended, creative way
                      • Recruiting a diverse workforce with varied medical needs and preferences
                      • Dissatisfied with traditional corporate and business insurance
                      • Confident in their ability to improve over time

                      On the other hand, businesses should keep away from captives if they are:

                      • Small or in an early developmental stage
                      • Risk averse or unable to raise significant capital
                      • Relying exclusively on outside companies and contractors to identify and manage their insurance needs
                      • Completely satisfied with the pricing and coverage they get through traditional insurers
                      • Unwilling to take one step back in the short term in order to take many steps forward in the long term

                      Key Takeaways

                      Captive insurance programs are unique, complex, and create brand new challenges for the businesses who decide to leverage them.

                      At the same time, however, captives remain underappreciated as ways to meet all of your business’ total insurance needs while controlling costs and connecting with your ideal coverage.

                      There’s no “right answer” when it comes to whether captive insurance programs are effective or not; the approach’s potential for success is directly tied to an organization’s desire to think and work beyond the limitations of the traditional marketplace and commitment to getting things right.

                      If you’re wondering if a captive program could benefit your organization, remember:

                      • Captive insurance companies support only the organizations that own them
                        • A “pure” captive involves just one company or corporation
                        • A “group” or “association” captive involves a group of businesses banding together to share risk and support one another
                      • Starting a captive insurance program is basically the opposite of being fully insured – you assume all risk
                      • Captives can help organizations build bespoke insurance plans, both for business needs and employee benefits
                      • Captives aren’t for small or risk-averse businesses