The ranking of industry-leading workers compensation writers has changed in recent years, with names like Travelers and Hartford overtaking Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. and American International Group for lead spots, according to an analysis from Fitch Ratings.

Traditional market leaders Liberty Mutual and AIG have significantly reduced workers comp premiums over time to combat weaker underwriting performance and reduce longer-tail risk exposures, reports James Auden, sector head for North America Property/Casualty Insurance ratings at Fitch Ratings.

FITCH WC 2015 CHART2a CHANGE in PREMIUM

Auden uses net written premium data from SNL Financial to show exactly how the lineup has changed in the past five years, with Berkshire Hathaway moving up to fifth place with average annual premium growth of nearly 40 percent since 2009.FITCH WC 2015 CHART2 MKT SHARE with ART Black Headers

For top-ranked Travelers, the annual average increase over the five-year period is nearly 9.0 percent, and second-place Hartford has a 5.0 percent average annual growth rate.

Comparing underwriting performance for the top 10 workers comp writers, Auden shows that carriers that grew premiums faster than the industry also reported the best underwriting results.

Over the last five years (2010-2014), Berkshire Hathaway, The Chubb Corp. and Travelers have posted the highest statutory underwriting profits in this segment. California’s insurer of last resort, State Compensation Insurance Fund, Liberty Mutual and AIG reported the highest average combined ratio for this period among the largest 10 insurers.

The accompanying article, Workers Comp Underwriting Profit Possible as Trends, Reserve Quality Improve: Fitch,” includes a chart presenting the five-year average annual growth rates and average combined ratios for each of the top 10 workers comp insurers, as well as a detailed discussion of trends in the workers comp line for the industry overall.

Topics Workers' Compensation