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While the types of captives formed and the coverages may vary by domicile, one point regulators agree on is that business is up and more captives are in the pipeline for 2011.

In Vermont, the largest U.S. domicile and the third largest globally, interest is continuing despite the soft market, said David Provost, deputy commissioner, captive insurance, Vermont Dept. of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration in Montpelier, Vt.

“We’ve licensed two companies so far in 2011, and we have several applications in hand,” Mr. Provost said. “On top of that, we’ve had preliminary meetings with at least a half-dozen other companies—across a pretty broad and interesting spectrum of businesses: health care, retail, manufacturing, religious and educational institutions, and professional services and life insurance.”

Vermont, Mr. Provost wrote to NU in an e-mail, has always maintained that captives formed in a soft market “are some of the best—they’re building for the long term, (including the likelihood that—someday!—the market will turn) and using the captive for solid risk management purposes, not just reacting to price changes.”

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