Powered by Data-Driven Insights, the Workers Compensation System Is Delivering

Posted Date: May 14, 2019

(Boca Raton, FL, May 14, 2019)—This week, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) is holding its Annual Issues Symposium (AIS)—Powered by Insight (May 14–15) in Orlando, FL.

This Year’s Word: Delivering

NCCI President and CEO Bill Donnell kicked off this year’s event by addressing key top-of-mind issues for carriers, regulators, and other industry stakeholders. The audience of more than 1,000 heard him speak on market dynamics, the changing workforce, and the workers compensation regulatory landscape.

As is tradition at AIS, Donnell revealed this year’s word—Delivering—to underscore the importance of the workers compensation industry delivering on its 100-year-old promise to workers and their families.

“This year we focused not just on the numbers and hot topics but also on the human side of what we do,” Donnell said. “What brings us all together at AIS is that we share a common purpose in serving the employers and employees who rely on a healthy workers compensation system.”

Donnell also reflected on the event’s theme, Powered by Insight, as key to maintaining the positive performance of the line.

“We must leverage insights from modern data analytics to make more timely decisions and to employ better underwriting, claims, and reserving practices,” he said.

Donnell concluded his remarks with a powerful video that shared the stories of four injured workers who returned to work with the help of the workers compensation system, and ended his address saying, “This is why we do what we do.”

State of the Line

Following Donnell’s remarks, NCCI’s Chief Actuary Kathy Antonello, FCAS, FSA, MAAA, delivered the company’s highly anticipated State of the Line Report, which provided the audience with a detailed description of 2018 industry results, market indicators, and trends.

As presented in this year’s State of the Line Report, the workers compensation Calendar Year 2018 combined ratio for private carriers was 83%. This is the fifth consecutive year that the workers compensation line of business has posted an underwriting gain. Total market net written premium volume increased to $48.6 billion in 2018.

“The Calendar Year 2018 workers compensation combined ratio of 83 is the lowest on record since the 1930s,” Antonello said. “The industry’s favorable combined ratio results over the last several years has been primarily driven by notable improvement in the underlying loss ratios. Underwriting discipline appears to have contributed to these results in what seems to be a perpetual low interest rate environment, with low investment returns.”

On an accident-year basis, the industry-reported 2018 workers compensation combined ratio was 97%. NCCI expects this accident year’s combined ratio to develop favorably over time.

Other market indicators and trends highlighted in NCCI’s 2019 State of the Line Report included:

  • NCCI estimates that as of Year-End 2018, the overall reserve position for private carriers is a $5 billion redundancy. A redundant workers compensation reserve position has not been observed in at least 25 years.

  • On a preliminary basis, average lost-time claim frequency across NCCI states declined by 1% in 2018.

  • In NCCI states, the preliminary 2018 average indemnity accident year claim severity increased by 3% relative to the corresponding 2017 value. Medical lost-time claim severity increased by 1%.

  • The workers compensation Residual Market Pool premium volume was approximately $1 billion during 2018, representing a residual market share of about 7%.

For more information about NCCI’s State of the Line Report, please visit ncci.com or contact us at stateoftheline@ncci.com.

AIS 2019 Speaker Lineup

Other speakers and topics at this year’s symposium include:

  • The Economics of Workers Compensation, Robert P. Hartwig, PhD, CPCU, Clinical Associate Professor of Finance, Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina

  • A Physician’s View of Work Comp, moderated by David Deitz, MD, PhD, David Deitz & Associates Panelists include:
    • Edward J. Bernacki, MD, MPH, Executive Director of Health Solutions
      Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin

    • Will Gaines, Jr., MD, MPH, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
      Baylor Scott & White Health

    • Jill Rosenthal, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer
      Zenith Insurance Company

  • TRIA Renewal—Action & Reaction
    David Priebe, Vice Chairman, Guy Carpenter & Company

  • Cognitive Collaboration—Why Data Science Needs Human-Centered Design
    Jim Guszcza, US Chief Data Scientist, Deloitte Analytics

  • Work Comp vs. Group Health—The Price We Pay
    Barry Lipton, FCAS, MAAA, Practice Leader and Senior Actuary, NCCI

  • Keynote: The Importance of Insight
    Walter Isaacson, Best-Selling Author, Historian, Former CEO of CNN and the Aspen Institute, Former Editor of TIME Magazine

  • 21st Century Threats to Worker Health and Safety
    John Howard, MD, Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

  • Game Changers and the New Workplace
    • Sean Cooper, FCAS, MAAA, Practice Leader and Senior Actuary, NCCI
    • Raji Chadarevian, Director, Medical Regulations & Informatics, NCCI

Kids’ Chance Partnership

At this year’s event, NCCI also highlighted its partnership with Kids’ Chance, which provides scholarships to children of injured workers so they can pursue their educational goals. The organization operates in 36 states, making a significant difference in the lives of children affected by a workplace injury. On Monday, May 13, NCCI held its annual AIS 2019 golf tournament at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Grande Lakes, Orlando—sponsored by Guy Carpenter—to benefit Kids’ Chance. A $30,000 donation to the organization was generated from the event, NCCI announced today.

Join the conference conversation by following us on Twitter @NCCI. The official AIS 2019 hashtag is #ncciAIS.

For information on NCCI, AIS, and the State of Line Report please visit ncci.com.

About NCCI

Founded in 1923, the mission of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) is to foster a healthy workers compensation system. In pursuit of this mission, NCCI gathers data, analyzes industry trends, and prepares objective insurance rate and loss cost recommendations. These activities—together with research, analytical services and tools, and an overall commitment to excellence—have positioned NCCI as the trusted source for workers compensation information. To learn more about NCCI, please visit ncci.com.

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