MINNEAPOLIS ─ NOV. 24, 2020 ─ The Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA) will be honoring tax legal expert Chaz Lavelle with its 2020 Distinguished Service Award, and Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company (OMIC) with its 2020 Outstanding Captive Award at a virtual ceremony, at 1 p.m. EST. Wed., Dec. 2.

This year’s recipients have truly influenced the industry. They serve as role models for future captive professionals and for organizations considering forming captives”

Dan Towle, CICA President

“The captive insurance industry is a great profession. In part, because of the outstanding work and contributions of individuals and captive organizations that have fought for best practices and creative uses of captive insurance to better manage risks and address business needs,” says Dan Towle, CICA president.

“This year’s recipients have truly influenced the industry. They serve as role models for future captive professionals and for organizations considering forming captives,” Towle added.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually, when appropriate, to a single individual or entity that has made a significant contribution to the captive insurance industry.

Charles “Chaz” Lavelle, Partner at Dentons Bingham Greenebaum, is a highly distinguished tax controversy attorney, whose expertise and leadership has significantly influenced the captive industry.

He has counseled taxpayers in the formation, operation and taxation of captive insurance companies. He represents taxpayers in federal tax controversies at all levels on a wide variety of issues including captive insurance issues. He was Tax Counsel on two significant taxpayer victories in Humana Inc. v. Commissioner and Ocean Drilling & Exploration Company v. United States. Lavelle is also a sought-after speaker at industry conferences, he serves as faculty for International Center for Captive Insurance (ICCIE), leads captive tax committees and served as a regent on the board of the American College of Tax Counsel.

Lavelle’s philosophy emphasizes continuous improvement. “I think there is a general understanding that if we’re making something better, it’s better for the entire industry. As the business and tax laws evolve and as the risk management world identifies more exposures that companies need to address, I think there’s a continuous improvement process to make the insurance policies and the operation of the insurance companies match the risks while simultaneously meeting regulatory requirements and business objectives,” Lavelle explained.

The Outstanding Captive Award is presented to a captive insurance company or risk retention group that has shown creative uses for a captive, been successful in managing the captive in terms of net results and usefulness to its owners, has prevailed over difficult times or situations, and has gained acceptance, recognition, and a positive reputation among rating agencies, regulators and colleagues in the captive industry.

Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company (OMIC) was founded in 1987 shortly after the 1986 Risk Retention Act was passed by congress. The company was originally funded by the American Association of Ophthalmology but through policyholders’ contributions their initial investment was repaid within a year.

OMIC strives to be a leader in the medical liability community and to promote quality ophthalmic care and patient safety. Before OMIC, ophthalmologists were often forced to subsidize higher risk medical specialties and sometimes were unable to obtain coverage.

Initially insuring close to 500 Ophthalmologists today OMIC insures nearly 50% of the available market and approximately 5,500 policyholders/owners. Today OMIC’s history of focusing on patient safety has allowed the risk retention group to thrive with an insured retention of 96%, $43 million in premium, surplus of $223 million and an AM Best rating of A, Excellent.

Tim Padovese, president & CEO, Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company, said “OMIC has always had the utmost respect for CICA’s progressive forward focus, so to be recognized by such a respected organization is quite an honor. OMIC prides itself in exceeding our customers’ expectations, having a strict financial responsibility to our members, and is very committed to our patient safety initiatives. We thank CICA for recognizing our 33 years of excellence.”