Aon has established a task force to encourage captives to offer capacity to its clients, because of the hardening insurance market.

It will propose expanded use of captives in clients' insurance programmes and will advise on providing capacity to the captive market.

Aon International Risk Management Group (AIRMG) managing director Stephen Cross said: "The difficult market conditions present great challenges to our clients, who have indicated a high level of interest in exploring innovative uses of their captives as a possible way to help to address these challenges."

Aon manages more than 1,000 captives, which, on a combined basis, generate $8bn (£5.5bn) in gross premium and have a net worth of $20bn (£13.8bn).