Blog: Workers’ Compensation Institute’s Joan Collier Reports on NCCI Conference

May 10, 2012

The following article was published by the Workers’ Compensation Institute on May 10, 2012:

More from NCCI

Insurance Information Institute CEO Bob Hartwig grabbed the stage with his usual energy at the late morning session of NCCI’s Annual Symposium today in Orlando.

Some quick notes about what he said in his broad-ranging talk on economy, workers’ compensation, insurance, politics, and more:

Workers’ compensation is now the fastest growing of all property and casualty lines.

He gave his usual shout-out to the great state of North Dakota and its strong economy. “Too bad it’s a state workers’ compensation fund. If you want to make money, find a way to privatize it out there.”

If you still had a job, you probably got a raise in the past year. Labor force participation rate is now about equal between men and women. The number of discouraged workers (those who have given up finding a job) is still large, and will not get down to a “reasonable” number for several years.

Housing starts remain very very depressed. Do not look for recovery here until the middle of this decade. Commodities and energy are strong.

Number one on list of growth industries is health care. On this issue, does not matter if Mitt Romney wins, or the Supreme Court strikes down the president’s plan; but thinks complete repeal is unlikely.

On presidential politics: Over the past 63 years, it makes little difference who is president as it relates to property & casualty profitability. “We were more profitable under Jimmy Carter than anyone else.”

Need four things for the market to turn: Sustained Period of Large Underwriting Losses; Material Decline in Surplus/Capacity; Tight Reinsurance Market; Renewed Underwriting & Pricing Discipline. When will the market turn? Indicators for the workers’ compensation industry are the strongest they have been for the better part of this decade.

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