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Captives offer solutions to capacity shortfalls


Facing rising commercial property rates and declining capacity in some coverages, construction industry companies are turning to captive insurers to help meet their insurance needs.

There is a greater focus on self-funding among contractors when looking at risk transfer, according to Chicago-based Adrian Pellen, who recently joined NFP Corp. from Marsh LLC to help lead NFP’s North American construction and infrastructure group.

“We’re seeing extraordinary activity in the captives sector for the construction market,” from both owners and contractors, Mr. Pellen said. 

Clients are working diligently to understand and achieve “risk financing optimization,” said New York-based Rob McDonough, U.S. construction practice leader at Marsh LLC. “Increasingly, we are seeing the adoption of captives in the construction space.” 

“Where does it make sense to retain risk or to transfer risk?” Mr. McDonough said. Clients are using data and analytics to answer this question and make more informed decisions about risk management, including the use of captive structures, he said. 

In the hardening markets, “clients are looking for multiple structure options with their renewals,” said Kelly Kinzer, Schaumburg, Illinois-based head of construction for U.S. national accounts at Zurich North America.

“The continued hardening of the construction insurance market is leading to renewed interest in wraps, captives and larger deductible plans as ways to better structure risk programs,” Adam Pancoast, senior underwriting executive, specialty, global risk solutions, at Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.