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2021 US Insurance Awards: Captive Alternatives, Community Outreach Project of the Year (Donations)

Posted On: Nov. 1, 2021 12:00 AM CST

Mark Sims

Captive Alternatives LLC, an Atlanta-based insurance consultancy, opened an operation in Puerto Rico in 2016, and it quickly and repeatedly witnessed firsthand how the island has struggled to recover, physically and financially, from the natural disasters that hit in recent years. 

Medical expenses have buried low-income families in debt, and health insurance premiums and medical costs have risen, said Mark Sims, president of Captive Alternatives.

To help its adopted community, the company partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit that raises funds to relieve medical debt. The group buys debt in bundled portfolios for a fraction of what is owed, which means that donations have an impact of 100 times their value, Mr. Sims said. 

The program won Captive Alternatives Business Insurance’s 2021 U.S. Insurance Award for Community Outreach Project of the Year (Donations).

At the start of their campaign in 2018, Captive Alternatives and RIP Medical Debt identified more than $2 million owed by individuals in Puerto Rico who met strict criteria for low-income eligibility. Captive Alternatives appealed to its clients and employees in the international insurance sector to raise enough donations to forgive well over the initial $2 million debt total. 

Since the initiation of the outreach program, Captive Alternatives has acquired enough funds to forgive $3.4 million in medical debt in total, benefiting nearly 1,200 Puerto Rican families, Mr. Sims said.

Before Captive Alternatives domiciled in Puerto Rico, it had other options to have its private insurance structure regulated in the U.S. and other domiciles, Mr. Sims said. 

“We chose Puerto Rico because of their entrepreneurial spirit, and we’ve stayed because of the Puerto Rican regulatory bodies — easy to work with, yet still maintain high integrity for regulatory compliance,” he said.

“We are just big fans and believers of the Puerto Rican people and their government. Any way that we can serve in a public way, we’re always looking to do that.”

As Captive Alternatives approaches its fifth year of operation on the island, Mr. Sims says continuing to find innovative ways to contribute to the Puerto Rican community will remain a priority.


• Acrisure LLC — In 2020, Acrisure made a pledge to establish the Acrisure Center for Innovation, a virtual research center, at Spectrum Health’s Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

• American International Group Inc. — In 2020, AIG and the AIG Foundation contributed millions to nonprofits globally, benefiting organizations focused on COVID-19 relief and advancing racial equity.

• AmTrust Financial Services Inc. — In 2020, AmTrust raised and donated funds to hospitals, schools, nonprofits, homeless shelters, food banks and fire departments through its outreach program AmTrust Gratitude. The company launched the program early in the pandemic to support essential workers. 

• CBIZ Benefits and Insurance Services Inc. — The CBIZ Women’s Advantage outreach program provides professional development programs, mentorships, recognition and career enhancement opportunities.