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Workers' Compensation
Top Workers’ Comp Ranks See Movement Upon Emerging From COVID Unemployment Spike

Travelers Group and Hartford Insurance Group retain the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in a ranking of workers’ compensation direct premiums written, according to AM Best research. See the Best's Rankings list of US Workers' Compensation — 2022 Edition.
  • Terrence Dopp
  • November 2022

Travelers Group held onto the top spot in AM Best's ranking of the top workers' compensation writers by direct premiums written despite posting a 5.1% decline in 2021 to about $3.55 billion, in a year marked by a reshuffling of the top carriers in the business segment.

Only six of the top 25 remained unchanged in the ranking, which was marked by shifts in virtually all levels even as the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, held by Travelers Group and Hartford Insurance Group, held steady. Even those companies showed the divergences that were common in the rankings: Hartford's $3.29 billion in DPW was up by 10.1% over the previous year.

The U.S. workers' compensation insurance market totaled about $52.25 billion in 2021 based on direct premiums written, a gain of 2.1% from the prior year.

Related: Best's Market Segment Report: Workers' Compensation Generates Solid Profits but the Future Remains Uncertain

AmTrust Group, which jumped to No. 3 from the seventh-place position a year earlier, saw its DPW in the workers' compensation line jump 25.2% to about $2.45 billion at the close of 2021. The company's performance, which was the largest gain among the list, sat well above the industrywide growth of 2.1% during a year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and a jump-starting economy. Just five of the top 25 workers' compensation carriers saw growth in the double digits and 11 actually saw a drop.

CopperPoint Insurance Group, which took the 25th spot on the ranking, had the largest decline with its $478.24 million in DPW for 2021 down by 16% from the prior year. It moved down from the 22nd slot at the close of 2020. The Arizona-based company specializes in workers' compensation and commercial property and casualty coverage.

Rounding out the top five, Zurich Insurance US PC Group moved down one spot to No. 4 with DPW of $2.35 billion, which was a 5.7% drop from the prior year. Chubb INA Group also dropped one spot to fifth with $2.2 billion in DPW, down 4% from 2020, according to the ranking.

Aside from Travelers and Hartford, Old Republic Insurance Group, Great American Property & Casualty Insurance Group, W. R. Berkley Insurance Group and Fairfax Financial (USA) Group were the only carriers to retain their positions in 2021. Old Republic, ranked 10th, saw a 0.8% drop to $1.29 billion in DPW. No. 12 Great American saw a 1.3% increase to $1.18 billion and 13th-ranked W. R. Berkley was up 4.8% to $1.14 billion. Fairfax, which took the 18th spot, saw a 7.5% increase to post DPW of $752.8 million.

Workers' compensation is the third-largest component of the commercial market behind (general) liability and auto, according to the Best's Market Segment Report: Workers' Compensation Generates Solid Profits but the Future Remains Uncertain. That research found that while concerns persist, the impact of the pandemic was largely muted even as growth was impacted in 2020 and 2021 by the rise in unemployment and rate pressures.

Premium volume rebounded in 2021 as people returned to work following COVID-19 lockdowns, yet recent years have seen it declining compared to pre-pandemic years, according to the AM Best report.

Related: Workers’ Comp Rate Proposals: Increase in Washington, Decrease in Indiana

According to the report, the workers' compensation line remained the most profitable among the key property/casualty lines of coverage in 2021—especially long-tailed P/C lines—and it experienced favorable loss-reserve development. The growth in written premium for 2021 marked the first year-over-year increase since 2016.

“Despite the increase in 2021, overall, yearly premiums continue to decline, due mostly to downward pressure on rates and pricing owing to competition because of the segment's profitability,” the report said.

“The premium increase in 2021 was not sufficient to offset the drop in 2020 and direct premium written (DPW) remains below even 2014 amounts.”

 

Best’s Rankings

US Workers’ Compensation — 2022 Edition

Insurers ranked by 2021 direct premiums written.

($ Thousands)

2021
Rank
2020
Rank
Company/Group AMB# 2021 Direct
Premiums
Written
%
Change in
Premiums
Market
Share (%)
Adjusted
Loss Ratios
% of
Company
Premiums
2021 2020 2019 2021 2020 2019
1 1 Travelers Group 018674 $3,547,060 -5.1 6.8 7.3 7.5 51.4 62.6 50.3 11.5
2 2 Hartford Ins Group 000048 3,293,689 10.1 6.3 5.9 6.0 46.4 49.7 48.6 24.3
3 7 AmTrust Group 018533 2,449,896 25.2 4.7 3.8 3.9 45.9 35.0 42.2 44.1
4 3 Zurich Ins US PC Group 018549 2,354,376 -5.7 4.5 4.9 4.7 51.7 48.6 52.9 15.7
5 4 Chubb INA Group 018498 2,203,827 -4.0 4.2 4.5 4.3 43.3 23.2 43.2 8.1
6 5 Liberty Mutual Ins Cos 000060 2,086,375 -6.7 4.0 4.4 4.6 54.9 54.4 44.9 5.0
7 6 Berkshire Hathaway Ins 000811 1,927,849 -3.5 3.7 3.9 4.1 45.6 43.1 41.9 3.7
8 9 State Ins Fund WC Fund 004029 1,733,104 7.6 3.3 3.2 3.6 66.8 89.0 70.4 100.0
9 8 AF Group 018680 1,667,442 -0.1 3.2 3.3 3.1 52.9 56.1 52.1 74.6
10 10 Old Republic Ins Group 000734 1,292,040 -0.8 2.5 2.6 2.5 55.1 54.7 54.6 25.1
11 14 State Compensation Ins Fund 004028 1,235,451 14.7 2.4 2.1 2.1 76.8 80.5 38.8 100.0
12 12 Great Amer P & C Ins Group 004835 1,179,982 1.3 2.3 2.3 2.3 39.9 40.9 39.3 15.5
13 13 W. R. Berkley Ins Group 018252 1,139,401 4.8 2.2 2.1 2.2 52.4 48.7 45.8 13.8
14 11 Amer Intl Group 018540 1,103,342 -7.2 2.1 2.3 2.6 90.0 55.6 41.4 7.5
15 16 TX Mutual Ins Co 011453 923,449 0.0 1.8 1.8 1.9 47.9 54.1 52.3 100.0
16 17 CNA Ins Cos 018313 842,970 3.4 1.6 1.6 1.5 42.0 48.5 40.8 6.7
17 15 ICW Pool 002967 835,665 -13.3 1.6 1.9 1.9 47.2 43.3 47.7 91.1
18 18 Fairfax Financial (USA) Group 003116 752,801 7.5 1.4 1.4 1.5 28.9 31.4 31.7 7.9
19 20 Arch Ins Group 018484 655,835 3.8 1.3 1.2 1.1 45.6 44.0 51.6 12.3
20 19 Starr Intl Group 018756 589,005 -11.1 1.1 1.3 1.2 66.7 37.1 25.7 12.9
21 24 Markel Corp Group 018468 585,006 17.5 1.1 1.0 1.0 46.8 40.6 38.9 7.9
22 21 Employers Ins Group 018602 582,608 2.1 1.1 1.1 1.2 46.2 39.0 44.3 100.0
23 23 Pinnacol Assur 003471 539,424 5.4 1.0 1.0 1.1 66.8 60.2 57.4 100.0
24 27 SAIF Corp 003480 521,964 13.9 1.0 0.9 0.9 138.4 70.7 90.8 100.0
25 22 CopperPoint Ins Group 018724 478,237 -16.0 0.9 1.1 1.0 43.8 42.8 47.9 80.8
Top 25 Writers $34,520,798 1.1 66.1 66.7 67.8 52.7 49.9 47.1 12.8
Total U.S. P/C Industry $52,247,198 2.1 100.0 100.0 100.0 51.1 48.9 47.6 6.5

Reflects Grand Total (includes Canada and U.S. Territories).

Source: BestLink logo — State/Line (P/C Lines) - P/C, US; data as of June 9, 2022.


Terrence Dopp is a senior associate editor. He can be reached at terry.dopp@ambest.com.



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