Student Essay Contest

The annual CICA Student Essay Contest invites two-person teams of college risk management, insurance and business students to write about an aspect of captive insurance.

Contest Results

The Challenge

Students were asked to demonstrate how to establish a captive for their chosen case study, select policy options, determine underwriting, pricing and more. Read about this year’s contest details.

Read about this year’s contest results.

Sponsored by:

We hear from young professionals they want to be challenged in their careers and they want to make a difference. Captive insurance provides those types of opportunities.”

Dan Towle, CICA President

About the Contest

The CICA 2021-2022 Student Essay Contest “Using Captive Insurance Solutions to Address Coverage Gaps”, sponsored by Strategic Risk Solutions, invites students to develop strategies for one of two case studies to help an organization create captive insurance solutions to provide member value and address coverage gaps for current and emerging risks. Student teams had the opportunity to learn from and interact with mentors at Strategic Risk Solutions in learning about their case and understanding key considerations in developing effective captive solutions.

Contest Timeline

December 7, 2021 | SRS webinar for interested students.

December 10, 2021 | Intent to participate deadline. Student teams submit Intent to Participate Form. Note: you can still submit a final essay even if you do not submit the Intent Form.

January 7, 2022 | Essay submission deadline. Student teams submit using the Final Essay Submission Form.

January 25, 2022 | Top three finalist teams notified.

March 6-8, 2022 | CICA International Conference. Finalists present essays and first, second and third place are announced.

TBD | Finalist essays are published by our media partner Captive Insurance Times post-Conference.

Contest Awards

Cash Prize

1st Prize: $2,500
2nd Prize: $1,500
3rd Prize: $1,000

CICA International Conference

Winning teams receive free registration and an opportunity to present.


Winning entries published by Captive Insurance Times and on the CICA website.

Official media partner:

Contest Rules

Teams: Insurance and risk management students worked in teams of 2 students per essay

Essay Length:
10 pgs. maximum Word document (double-spaced, 12 pt. font in Times New Roman or Cambria)

Prior Publication:
Essays may not have been previously published (online or in print) or be in consideration for publication elsewhere

Essays were judged by a team of CICA Members. No more than one team per school can advance to top three

Case Studies

Case studies focus on developing strategies to help fictional organizations in real-world situations to develop captive solutions.

American Cannabis Association

Legalization of the sale of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes in an increasing number of states is creating significant investment opportunities related to the production and distribution of various products. At the same time, marijuana is still a Schedule I drug at the federal level, which creates many operational challenges for the industry, including finding banks and insurance plans that will provide needed coverages, particularly for general, product and automobile liability insurance. Workers compensation is expensive but, in most cases it can typically be obtained via the assigned risk market that exists in most states. Cyber risk is a growing problem as well.

The American Cannabis Association (ACA) which has hundreds of growers, transporters, and retailers across the United States, is interested in exploring the formation of a captive insurance company to provide the needed liability coverages for its members. Beyond insurance the ACA wants the captive to help encourage loss control and the development/sharing of best risk management practices among its members.

ACA is seeking ideas on the optimal structure of the captive and the best place for the captive to be formed to serve its long-term needs.

Craft Breweries Association

The Craft Breweries Association (CBA) is devoted to providing its members an abundance of resources and membership benefits. With over 6,300 member breweries, CBA would like to develop a health benefit program to help member organizations stabilize/reduce their healthcare costs.

Member breweries are in all 50 states. Each brewery is typically employees 25 to 75 full-time employees plus part-time and seasonal workers.

The CBA has the capital to pay for feasibility, development, implementation and formation of a captive insurance company.

This project will identify if and how a captive can be used to provide medical stop loss coverage to participants and help participants control future health insurance costs for employers and employees. A longer term priority is offering some type of Voluntary Benefit offering to the employees to give them a “safety net” in the event of serious health issue.