Frequently Asked Questions – About RRGs
What is a Risk Retention Group (RRG)?
A risk retention group is a captive insurance company (i.e., an insurance company subsidiary of a non-insurance entity or group or association of entities), authorized under Federal enabling legislation (The Liability Risk Retention Act of 1986), which must be domiciled in one state (Vermont in our case), but is then largely free to operate nationally without hindrance from state regulators.
Risk retention groups (hereafter RRGs) cannot underwrite Workers’ Compensation, Property or Personal Lines coverages, but can underwrite essentially every form of liability/casualty coverage.
RRGs must be formed by entities that can demonstrate common, similar or related: businesses or trades; products or services; premises or operations.
RRGs must have as their primary purpose and activity the assuming and spreading of all, or a portion of, the liability exposures of its members.
RRGs are subject to certain state laws, such as: False, Fraudulent and Deceptive Trade Practice laws; Unfair Claim Practices laws; Insurance Holding Company Act laws; and Premium Tax laws.
What are the Advantages of Forming an RRG?
RRGs – unlike most other captives – do not require a front company. This saves a great deal of money and time expenditure; it avoids a great deal of accounting complexity; and it prevents the specter of losing your front and being unable to operate legally.
RRGs also can operate nationally by becoming licensed and domiciled in only one state. This saves the enormous cost of licensing in each state in which you wish to operate ($150K or more per state); the enormous delay in awaiting state approval (often exceeding one year) in each state in which you wish to operate; and the complexity and hassle of rate and policy form approval filings, before you can initiate operations.
RRGs also allow the avoidance of the extreme costs of purchasing an already licensed “shell” company (which can be well in excess of $1MM).
Why domicile in Vermont as an RRG?
Vermont has the oldest and best captive legislation; the oldest captive regulatory division, which also happens to be the best resourced and the largest such regulatory body of any captive domicile; the best established and largest support infrastructure (actuaries, auditors, banks, captive managers, etc.) of any domicile; and finally, the most supportive governmental environment of any domicile.
How Many RRGs Exist and Who Do They Serve?
There are about 250 active RRGs in the United States, providing coverage to multiple industries and businesses, including: healthcare; transportation, religious institution; professional service providers (e.g., law firms, accounting firms, actuarial firms, etc.); nonprofits; educational institutions; professional associations; etc.