Workers Compensation Rates Soaring

In a report titled “U.S. P&C Insurers’ 1Q12 Earnings Improve on Lower Cats; Pricing Momentum Continues,” Moody’s says insurers achieved rate increases across nearly all lines of business in the quarter, driving net written premiums up 4 percent for Moody’s rated companies compared to 2011’s first quarter. “Underwriting standards are becoming tighter in conjunction with a gradually improving cycle across most lines of business,” says Moody’s.

Citing pricing surveys and conference calls, Moody’s says commercial-lines insurers are reporting mid-to-high single-digit rate increases, with property and workers’ compensation showing the steepest hikes.

As we keep telling all our broker partners nationwide, workers comp is becoming tighter and tighter.  Selling workers comp premiums is becoming more attractive as a lead sell with bigger commissions. But it is also becoming a much more focused sell.  Do you have the continued resources to remain competative and therefore be able to sell your accounts and prospects to the workers comp carriers in this changing market? I suggest you start by making your accounts look as good as they can when the insurance companies ask to review their claims history upon submission of new or renewal business.

In a previous blog we mentioned residual markets in the first quarter of 2012 saw a 47% premium growth. This is not positive, according to NCCI President Stephen Klingel, because the major growth was seen in the premium sector, exceeding $100,000 in premium. As residuals grow there is tendency that they become less self-sustaining, and it becomes difficult to maintain pricing differentials to meet the growth in risk inherent in a growing residual market.

This report given by NCCI at the annual NCCI symposium proves that one of the reasons the assigned risk saw a 47% premium growth in the first quarter of 2012 is because brokers are starting to have a difficult time placing workers compensation insurance in the private marketplace as rates firm.

Look now for better ways to present your book of business to the insurance companies and make your business the business they want.