Florida and California – Hard Market May Be Starting

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Florida and California Hard Market

Has the Hard market in Florida and California Started? One of the hallmarks of what I consider the start of a hard market is when one of the major players in the Workers Comp business pulls back on writing coverage. A few articles this week have pointed out that Liberty Mutual (R) has begun to not write as much coverage in one state with a possibility of doing the same in another state.

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I have always considered the moves by Liberty as the direction the market is headed in a certain state. They are now reported to not write as many polices in California. Liberty has also considered Florida as a state to watch closely to see whether a pullback is in order. Over the years, this seemed to be the start of a hard market in a certain state.

A hard Workers Comp market usually begins when there are less insurance carriers competing to write policies in a certain state or region. The carriers will no longer undercut one another to get the business on the books. This leads to the underwriters becoming much more stringent in deciding to cover a risk.   Certain types of employers such as trucking companies and temporary labor suppliers may be turned away by all the insurance carriers in a certain state or region. 

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This is a heavily debated point as some insurance gurus will refer to investment income, negative insurance laws or court decisions, or a change in a state’s business environment as the reason for a hardening. I have stuck to the basic supply and demand theories. When a product is still desired by the same number of people/companies and the supply is restricted, the price increases quickly. This happened in CA in the early 1990’s. If there are any more updates, I will post them as I see them.

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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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