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The Connected Business of Insurance

IVANS Index: More Jobs and Better Wages Are Pushing Workers’ Comp

June 22, 2017

by Matt Foran
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IVANS Index is a data-driven report of current conditions and trends for premium renewal rate change of the most placed commercial lines of business in the insurance industry. Data collected in the IVANS Index enables insurers to determine competitive rates and the most profitable lines of business for investment. To learn more about IVANS Index, read IVANS Index: Get Ahead of Renewal Pricing for Your Clients.

Monthly Update: Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ Compensation has been the one holdout product in the IVANS Index to remain in negative territory since the beginning of the year. So what finally pushed Workers’ Comp into positive territory? Exposure.

The states that contributed most to the uptick include Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma and Texas. Many of these states have pushed for Workers’ Comp rate decreases over the past year. The Colorado Division of Insurance saw a 2.4% decrease in Workers’ Comp rates effective January 1, 2017.

The one substantial state difference in our analysis is Florida. Given the enacted state rate change, effective December 2016, Florida insureds have seen an average Workers’ Comp rate change of 10.2% since the beginning of the year. In addition to the state mandated rate increase, Florida has also seen strong economic growth with an April 4.5% unemployment rate, 2.9% wage increase and 3.1% quarterly growth rate.

Economic improvement in these states is contributing to the move upward in the IVANS Index. States that contributed to the upward Workers’ Comp movement have strong economic results, particularly strong unemployment rates, wage growth and quarterly growth rates.

There are many states with near all-time best unemployment rates. Even states like Illinois and Texas, with 4.7% and 5.0% unemployment rates, respectively, are still within 1 point of their best ever rate.

The average wage growth was 0.1%, with most states impacting Workers’ Comp showing far more positive results. The combination of strong unemployment figures and wage growth appear to have acted as a contributing force to move Workers’ Comp above zero.

Future actions by states like New York, where the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board has approved a rate decrease of 4.5% effective October 1st, may cause Workers’ Comp to move back into negative territory sooner than later.

Further analysis of Workers’ Comp movements will be included in the IVANS Index Q2 Report.

View the full IVANS Index Q1 Report >

Matt Foran, VP and general manager of IVANS Market Appetite, a division of Applied Systems, is responsible for the creation and strategic execution of the cutting edge distribution platform built for the commercial insurance industry. Prior to his current role, Matt was the CEO of EvoSure, which was acquired by Applied Systems in September 2015. Before co-founding EvoSure, Matt was the director of strategy for Zurich Specialty Products, a $2.5 billion business unit of Zurich Insurance Group, where he worked closely with the CEO and Senior Management to set overall strategic direction, develop and execute financial and operational plans, and lead execution of strategic initiatives. Previously, Matt served as assistant vice president of Marsh USA, with responsibilities including the initial formation of the Marsh & McLennan Agency, the Marsh Select Model, the restructuring of Marsh USA, and was a broker for healthcare and Fortune 500 firms. Matt was selected as a Global Rising Star by Reactions Magazine in 2011 and named in Insurance Business America magazine’s Hot 100 list for 2015.

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