Traditionally dominated by tropical offshore domiciles such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, the captives industry in recent years has been shifting its focus to U.S. shores—a trend that is expected to continue and perhaps accelerate in 2013 as more companies recognize some of the distinct advantages of domiciling domestically.
“There has been a re-balancing between onshore and offshore captive domiciles as these risk-transfer mechanisms become more mainstream,” says Richard S. Smith, president of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association. “The cost, tax and expertise advantages to domiciling your captive offshore have disappeared and given way to healthy competition among U.S. domiciles.”
Some U.S.-domiciling decisions are based on tax regulations. States such as Vermont and Connecticut tax captives on a graduated scale, meaning the rate starts low and gets higher as the company grows.