Workers’ Comp Market “Firming” In 2012

 Good news for brokers!  We are heading toward a HARD MARKET in 2012

 The workers’ compensation soft market that has kept premium rates low is “firming” in the new year, according to field experts.  According to Robert Hartwig of the Insurance Information Institute, the national average combined ratio in 2009 was about 118%, meaning carriers were paying out $1.18 for every dollar received in terms of premium, an ongoing trend since 2005. Although we are yet to see premium increases around the 10% mark to indicate a hardening market, insurance carriers are raising rates and being more selective about their exposure. Renewing premiums increased about 5% towards the end of 2011, suggesting that the insurers are working back towards the road to profitability. Workers’ compensation rates are inevitably on the incline and reducing costs for employers will be difficult in the turning market trend; state funds are likely to increase their rates as well and many employers do not possess the necessary deposits to self-insure.