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2023 NCCI AIS 2nd Morning Tidal Wave of Great Statistics


2023 NCCI AIS 2nd Morning – Statistical Kai piʻi (Part 1)

The 2023 NCCI AIS second morning provided so much great data on workers comp that I struggled to keep up with the presentations.  Dr. Bob Hartwig had 75+ slides.  Some of the folks at NCCI covered mega claims and the somewhat surprising trends in Workers comp medical treatment.

Kai piʻi is the Hawaiian phrase for “big wave.” I had to split the second morning into two articles due to the amount of good information provided at the 2023 NCCI AIS 2nd morning presentations.

dr Hartwig Chart 2023 NCCI AIS

2023 NCCI AIS – Dr. Robert Hartwig – Workers’ Compensation at Crossroads

I feverishly type so many notes when Dr. Robert Hartwig presents his usual cadre of  60+ slides.  Cristine Pike, NCCI Communication Director said that he had 75 slides this year. How he covers that many slides in an hour is amazing.

If you wish to download the slides, click here.  Dr. Hartwig’s slides are definitely worth a few minutes of your time – amazing info. They can also spice up your presentation quickly.  I heavily recommend listening to the presentation.  It is 50 minutes of learning so much your head will spin – totally worth it. 

I have bolded the amazing info – the whole presentation was amazing, as always.

Some of my notes from his presentation were:

  • A hard recession is still unlikely, we will likely not return to the bad old days of the 70s and 80s recessions
  • Consumer Sentiment at 20-year Lows
  • Small business optimism at 12-year lows
  • Stagflation hot item in press in 2022, mentioned much less in 2021

Dr. Hartwig forecasted a possible shallow recession in the second part of 2023 – which could last until 2024.  The chance of some type of recession is 61%.

Medical inflation as a cost driver was not as significant as projected in 2022. <This was a shocker to me, I expected the medical inflation rate to blow through the roof.>

The US economy was not in a recession in 2022.  The unemployment rate is currently at its lowest level since the 1960s. The unemployment rate is at record lows even though the unemployment rate forecast for 2023 was 5.1%.

The misery index= unemployment rate+ inflation rate  =  7.8. The misery index was 11.6 in 2022.

Oil prices played a role in the 1920s recession – similar to the role of oil prices in any upcoming recession.

75.9% of economists are predicting a  chance of a hard-landing type of recession.

The Combined ratio is 105 in recession years. The ratio was 104.6 in non-recession years.  The combined ratio is a general measure of profitability by workers comp insurance carriers.  If the combined ratio is below 100, then the worker’s comp insurance industry is operating at a profitable level.  Since 2016, the combined ratio has been below 100. 

Workers comp insurance has been under a persistent hard market.  <I had thought Workers Comp was under a soft market due to the Combined Ratio>

The recession has had no discernible effect on Workers Comp or overall Property and Casualty underwriting performed over the last 50 years

Dr. Hartwig heavily emphasized “Beware of the X-Date” – the date the Federal Government defaults on paying the interest on its debt. We now have a 31.2 Trillion national debt.  X-Date as soon as June 1st, 2023.  The last X-Date in 2011 (8/11)

The exacerbating factor  – 3 of 4 largest bank failures in 2023.  In 2010 – 2011 the US experienced over 500 bank failures.

A 45% decline was experienced in insurance company profits last year.  Insurance companies are paying claims, not bailouts like the banking industry

The S&P was down 19.4% in 2022 and increased +7.4% in 2023. P&C yield on invested assets was @ a 60-year low in 2021

Women coming back to the labor force faster than men

Vulnerable to AI Advances

Bottom Line @ Dr. Hartwig’s Presentation

Dr. Hartwig’s overall quote of the State of the Line 2023 – “Despite the expectation for more economic turbulence ahead, the Property and Casualty insurance sector will remain strong, stable, sound, and secure – executing their vital role in the economy without interruption.”  





James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management 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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