Paul Macey, president at USA Risk Group, tells us how life has changed since the Cayman Islands went into lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. He talks to us about his daily routine while working from home, the positive and negative impacts of this change and his opinion on what lies ahead for the captive insurance industry. He has have over 40 years of experience in the insurance industry; the last 30 of which have been in Cayman, managing all forms of insurance and reinsurance companies.
How has COVID-19 changed your daily life? The big one has been working remotely. I never thought I would be able to adjust, but I have settled into a routine and I’m finding that I can be more productive at home. I spend a lot of time speaking with clients, colleagues and friends so, I have become adept at using technology like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. As with many companies, it’s unlikely we will return to a fully staffed office environment. USA Risk Group has invested in technology and with the tools that are available to us, we can provide the same high level of service to our clients whilst providing our employees with a flexible working environment. On a personal level, I’ve used the time to improve my skills on the guitar, which were non-existent before, and to exercise more often. I might win the office weight loss challenge this year!
If you had to identify one positive aspect of the situation, what would it be? A greater appreciation for what we have and to take nothing for granted.
What has been the hardest aspect of the situation for you? In comparison to many others, I have not found the situation difficult. USA Risk Group was able to transition to a work from home environment without too many issues and I’m now in a good routine that is working for me. I am grateful that our line of work affords us the ability to continue to work during this time and don't think I can complain about minor issues when many others are out of work and dealing with life changing issues.
What are your thought about when normal life will return? It's unlikely we will ever return to the same pre-Covid world we were used to, but people are adaptable and we will quickly adjust to whatever restrictions and limitations we are subject to and move forward. I do believe there will be positive changes as a result of what we've learnt from being in isolation and how it has affected people. I look forward to the new normal with optimism.
Do you believe the pandemic will highlight the importance of captives? The insurance market was showing signs of hardening before the pandemic and this usually leads to more discussion about alternative risk structures. The financial impact of the pandemic from an insurance perspective is still unknown, but we know it is going to be significant. As clients are faced with increased deductibles and higher premiums, the use of a captive or a rent-a-captive may be part of the solution and USA Risk Group are ready to assist as needed. For those clients that already have a captive, that was prudently funded, the option to draw on any accumulated surplus to support the parent will be validation of the decision to form the captive.
What advice would you give someone looking to start a captive in 2020? To ensure that the business objective for forming the captive is understood and that you have financial ability and willingness to support the captive. The fundamentals will still apply.
What are your predictions on the future of the captive insurance market? I expect a busy period for the captive insurance industry for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021. USA Risk Group, as a captive manager, are already seeing an increase in enquires and I think there is going to be creativity in how captives are used in the future. Lines of coverage will reflect the development in technology and the new exposures that creates.
Reach out to Paul Macey with any questions or for a discussion about the captive industry at firstname.lastname@example.org.