MLBA launches captive insurance company

The Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA) received formal approval from the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) to establish a captive insurance company in Michigan on Tuesday, June 12.

“We will focus primarily on selling liquor liability insurance to on- and off-premises alcohol establishments,” said MLBA President Rick Swindlehurst. “The MLBA actually helped pass the law requiring that alcohol-selling establishments have a minimum amount of liquor liability coverage because too many places were losing their businesses due to being underinsured.”

The MLBA is the trade association that represents on-premises establishments that sell alcohol throughout the state. The association seeks to improve the business climate as well as offer useful benefits and services to its members.

“It has been my goal to make the MLBA a full-service association,” said Executive Director Scott Ellis. “Having the ability to write insurance policies for our membership at affordable rates will be another great benefit for them.”

The MLBA will be the first captive insurance company to offer liquor liability insurance and it is the first association-based captive insurance company to get state approval in Michigan.

“Establishing the structure of the insurance company and getting state approval was an arduous process, but we did it and we’re very proud,” Ellis said. “This is just another MLBA resource that businesses in the alcohol industry can rely on.”

The MLBA Insurance Company hopes to begin selling insurance policies within the week. They will sell liquor liability insurance policies themselves and they have partnered with Trudeau Risk Services to offer other lines of insurance to its membership.

“Our association was in the insurance business in the past and we hope to shake up the industry and do what we do best – which is helping our members succeed,” Swindlehurst said. “We are grateful and excited to begin this new venture.”