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Captives can fill coverage hole for emerging technology


SAN DIEGO — Captive insurers will help fill the coverage gaps that exist for emerging technologies, such as new entertainment and social platforms, driverless cars, drone delivery, and more, according to captive experts.

The use of captives by communication, media, and technology enterprises increased 4% from 2015 to 2016, according to a benchmarking study by Marsh Captive Solutions presented during a session of the Captive Insurance Companies Association International Conference in San Diego on Tuesday.

Michael Serricchio, Norwalk, Connecticut-based senior vice president at Marsh Captive Solutions, told attendees he expects that figure — representing $4.9 billion in captive gross premium written in 2016 — to increase. Cyber liability coverage in the nontraditional market saw a 30% increase from 2015 to 2016, according to the benchmarking study.

“Things are evolving, it’s changing markets, destroying markets ... technology is going to advance even if it ruins an industry,” he said. “Captives are embracing this interconnected, disruptive world we are living in.”

In particular, larger companies are quick to embrace new challenges in the areas of unproven risks, he said. “It’s going to give the organizations better tracking, control (and) data and analytics. Ten years down the road at CICA it will be interesting to see where we are, where we’re going.”

Karl Pedersen, Los Angeles-based senior advisory specialist with Marsh L.L.C.’s cyber and commercial errors and omissions team, said while cyber liability coverage has driven captive activity in the cyber sector but property damage risks – for example, from drones or driverless cars – is an emerging concern.

“What constitutes cyber? It’s a lot of unknowns,” he said. “We are past the avoidance piece (of cyber breaches). You can never eliminate this risk exposure (and) that’s why from an insurance perspective, it drives the actuaries nuts.”