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The work comp outlook is…balanced

That’s the one-word synopsis of the state of the line from this year’s NCCI conference.

I’d be a bit more positive; especially because the combined ratio is down 7 points to 101.

Premiums up for the third year running, and claim frequency continues a long-term decline with another 2 point drop in 2013.  

NCCI indicates medical costs have grown at a rate of 3 percent.

Even investment income is still robust at 14 percent. The result – operating margins are improved as well.

With the latest news indicating employment growth is accelerating after a long winter, the issues identified by NCCI as problematic, namely lagging employment, the potential non-renewal of TRIA, and the potential impact of the PPACA look like pretty small potatoes compared to all the good news.

In his kick-off presentation, NCCI CEO Steve Klingel took pains to note the statistics are national, and individual carrier experience varies quite a bit due to their reserving practices, the states they write work comp, mix of business and other factors.

Klingel noted RAND’s just-released report on TRIA makes a strong case for renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act; he also opined that state-specific judicial determinations can and will have significant impact on work comp.

Mr Klingel also delved into issues surrounding Big Data, data security, and the impact thereof.

If you aren’t here, you’re one of the few.  The place is packed.

Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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