20 Year Business Cycles Show Need For Long Tail Experience Mods
Would long tail Experience Mods benefit employers and insurance carriers? Let us first look at the definitions of the two terms. Hang in there – this concept has to build up for a few paragraphs.
Long Tail Statistics
When I first reviewed a few of the long tail definitions, many weasel pics showed in the search results. The pic shows the shoat or long-tailed weasel.
I first came across long tail statistics when searching for keywords to use in the articles. What keywords would not track fads in Workers Comp and insurance terms? If you need to see a few Workers Comp fads, check out this old viral article on the current and now faded buzzwords.
According to StatisticsHowTo–
A long tail distribution has tails that taper off gradually rather than drop off sharply. They are a subset of heavy-tailed distributions. It’s easy to visualize the idea of a long tailed function, and slightly harder to make it concrete.
My more simplistic definition –
Numbers that last longer than bell curves or fads.
The blue line is the ending part of a bell curve. The red line is the long tail statistics line.
The long tail line originally came from marketing. A store can sell unpopular items over a longer amount of time and make huge profits (in theory).
20-Year Business Cycle
The 20-year business cycle may not seem a valid way to look at workers’ compensation insurance. The concept sounds too extreme. Let us look at what was happening 20 years ago. We had just experienced 9/11 and the economy and markets were reeling. Does that sound familiar to what just happened 20 years later in the US with the Coronavirus pandemic? Let us go back to 1981. Look no further than this article on the deep recession of the early 1980s.
Yes, this was the overall economy and not a single business. Then again, most successful long-term businesses follow this same pattern. Most businesses do follow the economy externally or internally.
Predictive Analytics vs Experience Mods
Many times since 2010, I have heard that predictive analytics are the new way to analyze all facets of the Workers’ Comp insurance process. I do not agree totally with that statement.
However, most insurance agencies that I work with as a consultant all now say that we need to analyze all open claims, no matter the age, as the independent underwriters are now using five-year mods.
Loss development factors usually cover 10 years. If one looks at a claim or set of claims’ loss triangles, the maximum payable or reserving amount of time is 10 years.
What Do Long Tail Experience Mods Mean For Employers, Agents, and Carriers?
The task of recordkeeping may become an art and a science. Scan all your policies, premium audits, loss runs, and Experience Mod sheets, and save them forever. The more accurate the data provided will only lessen any assumptions. Assumptions always seem to cost more money in the long run.
Predictive analytics has moved the needle back to seven years of records to produce a five-year Predictive Mod.
Loss Development Factors have been around for a long time. The actuaries look at 10+ years of loss runs most of the time.
20-year insurance studies on an employer will likely become commonplace. Do I agree with looking back that far? – not necessarily The long tail Experience Mods are here to stay (like it or not).
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