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Oklahoma State Fund Loses Ground To Private Insurers

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Workers Comp Oklahoma State Fund Shrinks

The Oklahoma state fund  also known as CompSource has lost more market-share.

loses ground in . As I am originally from Oklahoma, news from the state on Workers Comp is of high interest to me.

Graphic of Dollar Tree Oklahoma State Fund loses Bills Wind
123RF

In this case, CompSource Oklahoma, the state-created workers’ compensation insurer, has been losing ground in its net number of policies at a steady clip since 2006.

According to CompSource, there is no regret to the loss in market share. CompSource’s lost policies are an indication of the strength of the private insurance market at the moment. But the data also indicates that hard times for the market may be on the horizon, as private insurers increasingly become the victims of their own success.

According to CompSource Oklahoma, private insurers may increasingly find themselves between a rock and a hard place as they balance the need to keep written premiums low with continued increases in medical costs. Workers’ comp reforms in several states have shown success in reducing the number of claims filed, but the cost of the average claim has grown enough to significantly erode the benefits of lowered frequency.

Man Cutting Credit Card State Fund Loses On Office
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According to the latest NCCI report, frequency of claims per 100 workers has declined from 1.7 to 1.1 between 1997 and 2006, but the annual increase in medical care costs per claim averages 8.5 percent over the last five years. Medical care costs are growing faster than the overall Consumer Price Index medical care costs, NCCI reports, accounting for 59 percent of total claim costs in 2007.

Demand for insurance coverage declines during times of economic recession, as employers try to cut costs. At the same time, studies show more workers are likely to file claims during times of economic hardship. Employers may also cut spending on safety-related budget items, contributing to a rise in claims.

The leading private insurer in Oklahoma, AIG, holds 15 percent of the market share. CompSource was the leader in market share in Oklahoma during 2007, at 37.8 percent. During the last hard market cycle, in 2005, CompSource’s market share peaked at 46.9 percent.

Overall, I think that Compsource may be in a state of denial. Losing market-share every month may be due to other factors. From what I have seen, quasi-monopolistic state funds have all had problems when they are state-created. Such prime examples are:

  • California – State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF)
  • West Virginia – Brickstreet
  • Nevada – Employers Holdings Inc.
  • North Dakota – Workforce and Safety (WSI)
  • Ohio – Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC)

Why do state-created monopolistic and quasi-monopolistic funds really have problems? Check in with us Monday.

 

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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