Work Comp Premium Written Surprises for 2014
The total work comp premium written for 2014 increased 5.6% over 2013 to $46.8 billion according to AM Best. These figures were part of the Top 25 Workers Comp carriers for 2014 report issued annually.
Two carriers doubled their net premiums written (NPW):
- Great American increased its NPW by approximately 103%.
- AmTrust came in at 95.5% over 2014
I am not sure why the two carriers decided to increase their NPW so dramatically. Could this have resulted from picking up insureds from Liberty and other carriers which wrote less premium than in 2013?
As expected with an announcement earlier this year Liberty Mutual decreased its NPW by over 27%. This may be due to a more selective renewal process.
Two state funds that only write domestically (in their own state) ranked in the top 10.
- The State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) now ranks 7th. SCIF increased its NPW by 37.3%. One has to wonder does this mean a start to another WC insurance crisis in California. The crisis situation is not likely to reoccur soon. In the 1990’s SCIF was the #1 ranked carrier in size.
- Texas Mutual came in 8th with a steady but not significant increase in premiums.
Colorado’s Pinnacol increased its NPW by over 18%. The trend of state-based domestic carriers significantly increasing NPW will be have to be monitored closely.
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Well, it could mean that the large mult-ilines are finally realizing that the math of using WC as a loss leader to attract the more profitable lines is dead. Could also mean that there is a realization that the effective management of work-related injury really is a local business best left to those who truly understand the medical and legal dynamics of their jurisdiction. Could also mean that industry is cream skimming and leaving the dregs to insurer of last resort.
One could test this by looking at how regional mono-lines are doing..gaining/losing share. View from this vantage point is that un recognized/unintended adverse incentives within the Affordable Care Act will make WC very unattractive to non-specialist multi-line carriers in very short order.
But as always, just my opine
Michael, thanks for your insightful input. Acquisitions may have also contributed to the exponential growth. I saw this on one of the comment boards right after I published the article.