University of Vt., Captives Launch Training Program

August 11, 2004

The University of Vermont has joined a captive insurance industry group to launch a new educational program to serve the industry, the first of its kind in the nation.

“Because the captive industry has grown so quickly, companies have had difficulty finding qualified staff and have had to take on training responsibilities themselves,” said Molly Lambert, president and CEO of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association. “A formal training program was clearly needed.”

The announcement was made as VCIA members met in Burlington for their annual convention.

Captive insurance is a specialized form of self-insurance in which companies establish their own licensed, regulated insurance companies. Captive insurance accounts for about 15 percent of the U.S. commercial insurance market and has grown by about 50 percent in 12 years.

Vermont leads the nation as a home to captive insurance companies, with 687 of them in the state. Gov. James Douglas said the industry has created about 1,100 jobs in Vermont, which pay an average of $52,000 a year.

UVM President Daniel Fogel said the industry’s presence in Vermont made a training program a natural fit for the university.

“This is exactly the kind of role UVM should be playing in the state _ promoting economic development efforts that result in high-paying jobs that have low environmental impact,” Fogel said.

The new program, dubbed the International Center for Captive Insurance Education, will require enrollees to take five core courses and two electives; to participate in three ‘”hot-topic” teleconferences; and to pass an exam at the end of each course.

Courses will be offered each August before the Vermont association’s annual conference, at professional meetings around the country and online.

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