Friday, January 3, 2014

Charlotte company to manage state's first captive insurance businesses

Charlotte-based Atlas Insurance Management said Friday that it has landed three of the first licenses for a type of insurance newly permitted in North Carolina.

Atlas deals in captive insurance, a form of self-insurance that's grown increasingly popular among mid-sized and large business over the past decade. Essentially, companies set up insurance subsidiaries that cover only its own parent company.

The system allows companies to set aside money with tax advantages to protect itself from risk traditional insurance companies don’t cover, or to cover risk at lower cost.

The N.C. General Assembly passed legislation in 2013 that allows companies for the first time to incorporate captive insurance subsidiaries in North Carolina. Lawmakers hailed it as a way to bring more work and tax dollars to the state. Before, North Carolina firms that wanted to get into the captive insurance business would have to set up operations in another state.

N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin announced this week that his office had issued the first four licenses. Atlas Insurance Management is running three of them on behalf of clients. One of them is from the Charlotte area. Atlas declined to give more details on its clients, citing confidentiality promises.

"Certainly there is an economic benefit to the state," company chairman Martin Eveleigh said. He cited his own company's growth, and said having captive insurance operations here will also bring more actuarial, legal and auditing business to the area.

"We’re very optimistic about what’s possible in the state over the next few years," Eveleigh said.

Atlas has its office at Carmel Road and N.C. 51 in south Charlotte, employing eight.

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