How To Turn Low Claims History Into Increased Profits For Your Business

To download a copy of the latest Market Blueprint on Captive Insurance Programs, click here.

From Expense To Investment

While the word “captive” may carry a negative connotation, in the context of insurance, it can mean exactly the opposite. For organizations that chose to insure their risks through a “Captive” insurance company, the word represents freedom from the confines of traditional insurance rate structures, and a shift from insurance as an expense to an investment.

A captive insurance company is an insurance program owned by a group of businesses for the purpose of gaining the benefits of controlling their insurance costs. Captive participants’ premium dollars go toward funding their own claims, or are returned in the form of annual dividends. They range in size, and type of member companies.

Practically every risk underwritten by a commercial insurer can be provided by a captive. Once established, captives operate like any commercial insurance company and are subject to state regulatory requirements including reporting, capital and reserve requirements. Premiums paid into captives also typically enjoy the same tax benefits afforded traditional insurance premiums.

Broader Application

Originally largely a Fortune 500 practice, middle-market businesses are utilizing captives with as low as $100,000 in general liability, auto and workers’ compensation coverages depending on the type of business. There were more than 7,000 captives globally in 2016 compared to roughly 1,000 in 1980 according to AM Best Captive Center. They are typically managed by a professional captive management company that ensures compliance with rules, manages claims and provides financial management and reporting.

Captives can write coverage for more predictable risks as well as high severity, infrequent risks like natural disasters. This is because they are able to access reinsurance markets to cover less predictable risks like extreme environmental events that are uninsurable or difficult to insure on the commercial market.

Captive members may choose to allocate capital as risk financing vehicles to pay for more catastrophic, hard-to-insure risks such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

Furthermore, captive members may choose to allocate capital as risk financing vehicles to pay for more catastrophic, hard-to-insure risks such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

A Difference In Mindset

Perhaps what makes captives most different is the psychology and culture of sharing amongst member companies. Since captive rates are set by the claims history of the members, the mindset of captive members is much different than typical businesses with no mutual benefit in claims reduction. As all members share in the profits of the captive they share a vested interest in
1. reducing risk and
2. reducing claims.
And since companies attracted to captives typically are those who are weary of paying out far more dollars in premiums than they see in claims, they tend to have lower-than-average claims history to begin with.

Experts In Captive Alignment

Always on the cutting edge of cost reduction solutions, Alper Services has 30+ years’ experience helping Clients find the right captive for their needs, and all are placed with A-rated insurance companies by AM Best Rating Services, the industry quality rating service.

We created a successful captive in 1994, which dramatically reduces the cost of insurance for more than 190 best-in-class businesses today.

Additionally, we have placed Clients in the manufacturing, energy, transportation and health care sectors into a wide range of existing captives with great benefit. Above all, we provide the knowledge and expertise to help your business form, or join, the RIGHT captive structure, so you can enhance your coverage and transform a traditional expense into a valuable investment.

To discuss the option of a captive program for your business, please contact your Alper Account Executive or email Chris Breck at

A Win For Alper And Our Clients







We’re thrilled to announce our Commercial Lines and Personal Lines divisions being named to the elite group of Chubb Cornerstone Agents for the fourth year in a row! Cornerstone status means Alper continues to receive access to a dedicated customer service liaison who connects us with senior specialists in Chubb’s claims and risk departments.  The Alper Team also benefits from educational programs that help us stay up to date on relevant, emerging loss control issues. In turn, our Clients receive the most effective service in the event of a loss. This is just another way we bring you highly specialized service in order to help you plan from now through when.

Insurance Careers Month Employee Spotlight: Gary Kirshenbaum







Meet Gary Kirshenbaum, Vice President and Director of Alper’s Global Trade Risk Management division.

Please share a few sentences on why you chose insurance as a career? Was it your intention to build a career in this industry or did you fall into it and decide to stay for a particular reason?

I’m not sure I chose insurance as much as it chose me. As a lender, I worked with trade credit insurance to support loan deals.  To do this, I researched the product and facilitated our clients/borrowers in obtaining policies as needed.

With the recession in 2008, I needed to figure out what was next for me. I wanted a career shift I found interesting, where I could apply my experience and knowledge and have some level of being “recession proof”.  Trade credit insurance presented that logical step. After a number of years enjoying success in the trade credit insurance niche, a fortuitous conversation with Alper’s President and CEO, David Macknin, created an opportunity with Alper to accomplish more with my knowledge and experience. It made sense to take the leap to Alper, and looking back on my tenure here, I feel confident in my decision. Continue reading

Insurance Careers Month Employee Spotlight: Abby Ahern

Abby Ahern







Meet Abby Ahern, Senior Account Manager in the Commercial Lines Division, and our third spotlight for Insurance Careers Month.

Please share a few sentences on why you chose insurance as a career? Was it your intention to build a career in this industry or did you fall into it and decide to stay for a particular reason?

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a communications degree and no idea what I wanted to do with it. At this time I took notice of my Uncle Tony who owned his own insurance agency as well as a neighborhood bar as a hobby. I loved his stories about the different clients he met through networking or just listening to patrons behind the bar. Insurance afforded him a comfortable life, the opportunity to provide jobs for others at his agency and help his community through the policies he wrote. I was in!

I chose to work on the service side of the industry rather than sales because I am not as free a spirit as Uncle Tony. I’ve spent the last 15 years in the insurance industry because of the people I have been lucky to meet and work with—many of whom have become great friends. I like the excitement and fast pace, every day is something different. My job never feels monotonous as I am always working on different types of accounts and learning about so many different industries. Continue reading

Insurance Careers Month Employee Spotlight: Katrina Love







Meet Katrina Love, a Senior Claims Administrator/Loss Control Coordinator in Alper’s Claims Management Services Division, and our second profile for Insurance Careers Month.

Please share why you chose insurance as a career? Was it your intention to build a career in this industry or did you fall into it and stay for a particular reason?
Insurance has always been an intriguing industry to me. I watched my mom dedicate her life to insurance over the course of 30 years. Seeing her level of customer service, enthusiasm and commitment to her job made me more interested in pursuing a career in the same industry.

What is unique about your job? What do you like about your job?
I began my journey in insurance as a Claims Administrator, was then promoted to a Senior Claims Administrator and now am a Senior Claims Administrator/Loss Control Coordinator.

Since joining Alper Services 14 years ago, I have learned a lot from my peers and the leaders of this organization. What I find unique about insurance is that it truly is a service industry. Insurance creates an opportunity to assert myself within an always-changing world, think outside the box for Clients and continue in my career growth and development. I love helping people, and my desire and passion to serve our Clients is my favorite part of my job. I am an insurance gal! Continue reading

Insurance Careers Month Employee Spotlight: Natasha Rodriguez







Every February, we celebrate Insurance Careers Month by honoring our employees. This year we are taking the opportunity to showcase a variety of Alper’s Team Members. Find out how they discovered a career in insurance and what they enjoy about their role.

Meet Natasha Rodriguez, Account Manager in the Property & Casualty Select Division, and super mom to two daughters. Natasha has been with Alper for one year and was named one of our Employees of the Year for 2018.

What was it like to leave your previous insurance brokerage to help build a new division for Alper?
Leaving my prior employer, where I worked for over 27 years and coming to Alper Services was very frightening at first. However, I was very eager and excited to meet new people and to begin this new chapter in my career as well as help build the P&C Select Division at Alper. It was challenging the first couple of months to learn new procedures, new coverages and new Clients. However, I’m at my strongest when confronted with challenges. I am very excited to be a part of the changes at Alper Services. I feel that we are on the right track to becoming one of the insurance leaders in the Midwest. Continue reading

Client Spotlight: UCAN







Founded in 1869 as a Civil War orphanage, UCAN is one of Chicago’s oldest social service agencies that provides programs and services to more than 15,000 at-risk Illinois children, youth and families. Programs include a therapeutic youth home, counseling, transitional and independent living programs, two therapeutic day schools, foster care placement, workforce development programs, leadership training and violence intervention and prevention programs. As UCAN’s CEO Zack Schrantz explains, “Our vision is to help youth who have suffered trauma become our future leaders, which means we address their past as we provide the support and resources to help them become the leaders of tomorrow.”

In 2015, UCAN opened the first phase of its new seven-acre campus in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. With its sprawling facilities, youth dormitories, over 700 employees, diverse donor pool and growing range of programs, UCAN increasingly relies on Alper Services. Since 2004, UCAN has turned to its Alper Team of Experts to continually examine its emerging risks, manage its claims, ensure adequate risk-transfer measures are in place, and reduce its workers’ compensation costs. Continue reading