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The scope of captive insurance in Florida could be significantly expanded if captive-specific legislation pending in the 2011 Florida Legislature is ultimately enacted. Although no licensed Florida captives currently exist, state law presently allows for the creation of ”captive insurers” and “industrial insured captive insurance companies.” Both of the currently filed bills, HB 1235, sponsored by Rep. Jeanette Nunez, R-Miami, and its identical counterpart, SB 1836, introduced by Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, would change Florida’s requirements for both currently authorized captive insurers and create other types of permitted captive insurance companies. 

HB 1235 and SB 1836 may spur captive development in Florida as a result of the lowering of captives’ capital and surplus requirements, as well as the expansion of the types of captives permitted in Florida, including the creation of a “special purpose captive insurance company.”  

Generally, a special purpose captive would only insure risks of its parent, affiliates and certain unaffiliated companies, but could provide both insurance and reinsurance for other risks as approved by Florida’s insurance commissioner. Importantly, only special purpose captives would be able to provide personal motor vehicle insurance, homeowners insurance or a component thereof, if approved by the commissioner. Organized as a stock company, the current permitted captive insurer—designated as a “pure captive insurance company” under the proposed legislation—would be required to possess and maintain unimpaired paid-in capital of at least $100,000, along with unimpaired surplus of at least $150,000. Organized as a non-profit corporation, a pure captive would be required to have unrestricted net assets of least $250,000. Under current Florida law, a captive insurer is required to possess and maintain unimpaired paid-in capital of at least $500,000 and unimpaired surplus of at least $250,000. If organized as a reciprocal, captives, including a pure captive, would be required to possess and maintain unimpaired surplus of $1 million, regardless of type.

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