NU Exclusive: CARFM Loses CICA As Member

By Caroline McDonald

NU Online News Service, March 19, 4:30 p.m. EST?The listing of member groups of the Coalition of Alternative Risk Funding Mechanisms has one glaring exclusion: the Captive Insurance Companies Association.

CICA President Carl Modecki said the Minneapolis-based association, which recently held its 30th annual conference, made a decision last October not to rejoin CARFM.

“We didn’t feel it was meeting our needs and it basically wasn’t fulfilling the purposes it started out with,” he said. “We felt our money and time are better spent elsewhere.”

The original purpose of CARFM, he said, was to keep track of certain pieces of legislation. But as the organizations have grown the view is that “if anything major comes up, a [CICA] member such as Subaru isn’t going to give us $50,000 or $100,000 to fight an issue. They’ll go and fight it themselves,” he said.

He added that “CARFM has never really been used as it was envisioned. No hard feelings anywhere.”

Lisa Ventriss, the newly elected president of CARFM and president of the Burlington, Vt.-based Vermont Captive Insurance Association, said, “CARFM was disappointed that CICA didn’t renew its membership. And we regret that.”

Ms. Ventriss said that CARFM, although initially formed to help its members have a stronger voice in regulatory affairs, has always been “a coalition that works to keep the communication going between the various domiciles so that we are aware of developments and activities going on.”

She said the association has also been about establishing relationships, “so that when there may be an issue on a national level of importance, we know each other and can call upon each other to help. That has not changed over time at all.”

CARFM, which was established in 1986, is “an information exchange,” she said. “It’s a way to help keep the players in the industry aware of where developments are occurring and where issues may be bubbling up that people would want to know about.”

Ms. Ventriss said that despite the loss of CICA, interest in CARFM is growing. The Georgia Captive Association joined at CARFM’s annual meeting this month and interest also has been expressed by domiciles and associations in Arizona and South Carolina.

CICA did not pay its dues of $1,500 to CARFM this year, Mr. Modecki explained. “There are five or six groups, but only three pay the full $1,500. All the other groups pay whatever they can, which is relatively little,” he said.

Members of CARFM include the Colorado Association of Captive Entities; Hawaii Captive Insurance Council; Illinois Captive & Alternative Risk Funding Insurance Association; National Risk Retention Association; Risk and Insurance Management Society; Vermont Captive Insurance Association; and the newest member–the Georgia Captive Association.

CICA, Ms. Ventriss added, was “an original member of the coalition, so they are important. We regret their decision to leave.”