A bright future
Utah has become a leading domicile for captives on the back of technical
innovation and affordability. Travis Wegkamp, captive director,
Utah Insurance Department, outlines what has been achieved so far—
and the opportunities that lie ahead.
Utah has made a longstanding commitment to the captives market:
while some domiciles have lost funding and resources when the
economy has taken a dip, Utah has a dedicated fund that is set apart
and will always be available to service providers and owners that have
captives in the state.
By offering a relatively low cost of entry—minimum capitalisation for
a pure captive is $250,000—the domicile has become popular with
some of the smaller captives, which are sometimes referred to as micro
“The $250,000 minimum capitalisation, and the low $5,000 licence
fee as opposed to the premium tax, have made us popular with those
types of captives,” says Wegkamp. “We are happy to accept any
legitimate insurance company that exists for the right reasons, no matter
what size it is.”
Utah facts and figures
At year-end 2017, Utah’s total licensed captives stood at 481, with 60
new formations during that year. This compares to a pre-Protecting
Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act high around five years ago of
“Our largest sectors are healthcare, manufacturing, professional
services and construction—although healthcare has the lead,” says
Utah requires each company to submit a statement of economic
benefit to the state of Utah, and for 2017 the direct monies spent in-
Utah’s prominence as a domicile reflects its commitment to
create an environment that is favourable to captives of all sizes.
The focus is on affordable, diverse and flexible solutions that
protect any company’s dynamic business environment.
A key factor is that in lieu of state premium taxes, a flat annual fee
is charged. “This has been a big selling point,” says Travis Wegkamp,
captive director, Utah Insurance Department.
“The goal of our legislation is to promote economic growth in the state,
and that’s partly why don’t have a premium tax—instead it’s a licence
fee, renewable annually, of $5,000. The goal isn’t to fill the state coffers
with premium taxes but instead to grow the economy with sustainable
This means Utah is able to make regulators and legislators readily
available with consistent, reasonable, and effective regulation, and offers
easy access to quality, experienced service providers.
Utah is also one of the leading domiciles committed to continual
technological advances. Currently all forms, documents, applications,
and payments can be seamlessly submitted and/or uploaded online. This
means it is able to process applications for a certificate of authority within
30 days. The average time the division takes to issue a certificate of
authority is less than 60 days.
“We can turn requests around very quickly, and essentially we are
paperless,” says Wegkamp. “We are trying to make things as simple
as possible for everyone involved while helping with quick turnaround
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