Gov. Peter Shumlin and other state officials are celebrating the founding of Vermont’s 1,000th captive insurance company.

Captive insurance companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of large corporations that want to insure themselves against property loss, casualty and liability. Before Vermont law was changed in the early 1980s to allow them, most captive insurance companies had to incorporate outside the country.

During a Statehouse ceremony on Thursday, Shumlin watched as Department of Financial Regulation Commissioner Susan Donegan signed the license for the Cassatt Insurance Group. The group provides medical liability insurance for nine independent nonprofit hospitals in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Vermont leads the nation in captive insurance companies. Vermont’s captive insurance companies employ more than 1,400 people in well-paying jobs. Since the passage of the 1981 law, they’ve contributed more than $350 million in state taxes and fees.