Business Insurance has released finalists for their 2023 U.S. Insurance Awards. Spring’s team has been shortlisted for the Insurance Consulting Team of the Year category. You can find the full article here.

Every year The Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) hosts their annual RISKWORLD conference, which brings together thousands of risk professionals from across the globe to network and discuss current trends and new innovations in the industry. This year the conference took place in Atlanta, GA and featured a wide range of fun activities including a pickleball tournament, a golf event, and a group of service and therapy animals to play with. Outside of all the “extracurricular” activities the conference had to offer, it helped paint a clearer picture of what is driving the risk management sector and how employers are combating different obstacles. We noticed that the following five areas got a lot of spotlight at RIMS this year.

1. Career Development

It seems like every year increasingly more sessions are focused on the future of the risk management sector and how young professionals can grow into industry leaders. As boomers begin to retire and millennials start taking on larger roles, conferences like RIMS are recognizing the need to be sure the next generation has the tools they need to be successful. Below are some of the top sessions I found most interesting:

– A session titled, “How to Take Risk Off the Books and Demonstrate Your Value to the C-Suite” focused on strategies risk professionals can take to properly explain risk mitigation strategies to C-suite executives to help elevate their value.

– Risk Directors from two different universities presented on the importance of teaching the next generation about non-traditional risks and preparing them for future barriers (ex. cyber liabilities, ESG, climate change, etc.).

– One session took a unique approach and brought together three industry leaders that were originally on the same team but all accepted different opportunities. Each presenter gave insights into their specific journey and what young professionals can do to drive the trajectory of their careers.

2. Claims Management

As inflation is top of mind for businesses across the globe, cutting costs and managing claims is a high priority for risk teams. This year presenters looked at a range of business lines and various approaches to handling claims processes.

3. Cyber and Technology Risk

Although cyber is not a new concern the risk-world (no pun intended), we are seeing a lot of evolution and maturation in this space. This year speakers tackled cyber coverage from many different points of view, some of which included:

– In the session, “Ransomware Postmortem: The Anatomy of a Cyber Breach,” the presenters expressed what employers can do at different stages of a cyber breach to mitigate losses, and what is going through the minds of hackers during planning, execution, and post cyberattacks.

– In response to the Ukraine-Russia War, one group presented on current cyber warfare trends and how international sanctions can impact regulations and cyber claims.

– The session, “Understanding Autonomous Vehicle Risk and Insurance,” speakers gave a comprehensive review of autonomous vehicle risks and market conditions to pay attention to, such as legislative developments and availability of insurance products.

It seems like every year we are seeing new developments in the world of captive insurance on both the national and international scales. After recently attending The Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA) 2023 International Conference, I wanted to share some of the hot topics on the minds of captive professionals around the world. As a board member of CICA and chair of CICA’s NEXTGen young and new professionals committee, I was excited to be so involved this year. The conference definitely did not disappoint; in addition to “extra-curriculars” like the golf tournament and brewery tour, the event also provided great opportunities for networking and learning about current trends and best practices in the world of captives and what the future holds for the industry. I hope you enjoy these highlights.

4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

As we progress through 2023, employers across the nation and internationally are working to develop programs that address DEI efforts. Although DEI was not the leading topic of discussion this year, I still wanted to share some of my favorite sessions that address unique social issues in the risk management/insurance space.

– Workers’ Compensation experts clarified how understanding DEI needs of injured workers can directly help with the recovery process and their return to work. Furthermore, they explained how greater communication can reduce the risk of continued disability and litigation.

– As Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making headlines globally for its potential (both negative and positive), many fear for perpetuated biases the systems may hold. One presentation investigated potential discriminatory liabilities when it comes to automating recruitment and other employment decisions and how it can intersect with different compliance regulations.

– A group of 5 female executives tackled the issue of women in leadership positions in the risk management/insurance space and tools they utilized in their career paths to help combat gendered stereotypes and achieve leadership roles.

5. Strategic and Enterprise Risk Management

When it comes to developing a concrete and concise program, risk management teams have an abundance of options and strategies to consider. This year, enterprise risk management (ERM) was a hot button topic, with sessions covering:

– The session, “Social Media: Managing the Continuous Stream of Emerging Risks” explored a new stream of liability, social media risks. Speakers from Oracle and Salesforce reviewed the history of social media risks and potential response plans for future incidents.

– Two insurance executives reviewed how the pandemic forced organizations to integrate resilient and adaptive programs, opposed to more traditional and defensive programs we saw pre-pandemic. They then laid out risks and disruptions organizations should be ready to face in the post-pandemic world.

– A representative from Merit Medical dove into her company’s approach to ERM and how they optimized their program through strong leadership support. Her session was titled, “Enterprise Opportunity Management: Optimizing the Value of ERM with a Focus on the Positive.”

As a regular RIMS attendee, I have to say, this conference was one of the best. I was able to connect with so many interesting people and deepen my understanding of best practices and trends. Aside from the socializing and happy hours, Spring had a great time exhibiting and attending the informative sessions; I look forward to next year’s conference! In the meantime, our team will continue to assure we provide clients with industry leading captive and alternative risk financing services.

In a recent article published by Captive Intelligence, our Chief Property and Casualty (P&C) Actuary, Peter Johnson, reviews current trends in the P&C industry and how risk optimization can help cut costs and increase coverages. Check out the full article here.

Like many other industries, inflation has been top of mind for risk managers, insurers, and P&C professionals. McKinsey & Company estimated that inflation increased the cost of P&C claims by $30 billion in 2021,1 and it continues to be a primary concern across P&C lines. Property insurance is being hit hard this year. Hurricane Ian alone is expected to cost insurance companies over $60 billion.2 In combination with other recent catastrophic events (CATs) and construction cost inflation, this is driving substantial rate increases and higher underwriting standards for property policies. Inflation in auto costs and increased driving are also forcing insurers to respond with higher auto rates this year. So, cost-control practices will continue to be a main focus throughout 2023, both for insurers and businesses.

What impact is inflation having on the P&C market? Where is it hitting the hardest?

In the current hard market, we are expecting to see price increases across all lines of business, with an overall average increase of 9.3% in rates.1 Some of the top business lines being impacted include cyber, commercial property and personal lines/private risk (including private auto).

Following Hurricane Ian, we saw drastic increases in property insurance rates, with properties with poor risk quality seeing increases of 25% all the way up to 150% at the start of 2023.3 The number of natural disasters and level of exposure have been trending up over time, and costs are compounded by the need to rebuild with inflated prices and strained supply chains. According to NOAA National Center for Environmental Information, natural disasters cost the U.S. over $165 billion in 2022.4

When it comes to cyber, one of the toughest lines of business to write, we expect rates to increase as much as 50% for more complicated risks and 15% for simpler risks.1 This is less a result of inflation and more like growing pains for a newer market. As new risks continue to emerge and underwriting practices strengthen in cyber, it is difficult to predict how significantly inflation will influence costs.

Personal lines/private risk (including auto and homeowners insurance) rates are expected to increase almost 13% on average this year, with automobile rates seeing increases of 8-10% across the nation.1  Although Hurricane Ian and CATs dominated headlines in 2022, of the 15.5% increase in net losses across all business lines, private auto liability represented the largest sector in net incurred losses.5 Supply chain issues that drove up the prices for vehicle repairs and replacement had a direct impact on auto insurance claim severity and created a rate increase need for auto insurers to cover the cost increases. For many companies these rate increases are coming in conjunction with increased underwriting scrutiny, forced up retentions, and coverage reductions.

Workers’ Compensation is an exception to the norm this year. In spite of continued inflation, rates are expected to remain unchanged or slightly drop in 2023, with stable coverage options and underwriting practices. Employment Practices Liability is also looking favorable for buyers in 2023, with modest rate increases of 7% on average. Finally, Surety is also expected to see average increases just above 7%,1 but will face increased underwriting scrutiny with potential for larger rate changes on a case-by-case basis.

Geography is an important factor as well, and not just related to climate. For example, medical professional liability severity trends have increased, but this varies significantly by region. Some states are seeing double digit severity trends and rate increases while others are experiencing very modest increases. Differences in litigiousness and jury awards drive much of these state-by-state differences.

While most buyers are seeing rate increases and some reductions in coverage, high-risk clients are affected the most by continued inflation and other cost increases. This includes businesses with adverse loss histories, located in CAT-prone areas, or with frame construction buildings. Unfortunately, we are not seeing an influx of new players or investment to mitigate rising rates.

When looking at the industry level, Alera Group reports that the two sectors with the most unfavorable market situations are nonprofit organizations and the hospitality and gaming sector. Although nonprofits don’t make up a large portion of organizations in the U.S., they often require specialty insurers which can be costly and hard to find. Nonprofits are also often targets for cyberattacks and face unique underwriting processes that differ from other industries. The industry most impacted by inflation and unfavorable market conditions is the hospitality and casino industry where we expect to see increases in rates, reduced insurer options, and stricter underwriting processes across cyber, employment practices, general liability, property and umbrella.

In wake of recent natural disasters, what’s the outlook for property insurance underwriting and rates? On a practical level, what should buyers expect?

Property rates remain high and are expected to remain high for a while. Hurricane Ian caused big disruptions for property reinsurers, who in turn are pushing carriers for better valuation and stricter underwriting — especially in catastrophe-prone areas. As for how this will realistically play out, buyers may see fewer coverage options and new requirements like recent appraisals, insurance-to-value increases, engineering reports and complete applications. More underwriting processes will also focus on fire suppression systems, difficult-to-place risks and limits on high-rise structures.

According to Alera Group’s P&C Market Outlook, cyber liability pricing is expected to increase by 15% in 2023. What do you think this says about the market and what can organizations do to control their spend?

The cyber market is still relatively young and new risks can emerge quickly. Although rates are expected to increase by 15% on average for the simpler risks in 2023, more complicated cyber risks will see increases as much as 50%, often with difficult underwriting processes. Terms and conditions are changing to better clarify challenging coverages, resulting in longer underwriting processes. Employers and buyers of cyber insurance should ensure they are working with experienced underwriters and that they properly understand the specific cyber risks associated with their business so they can prioritize coverage selections.

Are there any emerging P&C lines that will take the spotlight in the years to come? What about in the captive space?

I cannot say for certain we will see completely new lines of business emerge in the next few years in the P&C market. But I do expect to see changes in coverage within different lines of business, particularly as our economy evolves and new technologies and products are utilized by both individuals and commercial industry. Artificial intelligence and other product innovations are expected to have an impact on both frequency and severity of loss outcome and will influence actuarial pricing indications for various insurance products.

I think captives will continue to emerge as a critical part of the ecosystem. As coverage capacity in lines like commercial property goes down or as new risks emerge in lines like cyber, captives offer organizations new options for layering the coverage they need at a price that truly reflects their own loss history and level of exposure. Captives are able to fill in the coverage gaps in cases where the commercial market has yet to come up with a competitive solution. This happened for cyber risks about a decade ago.

How are actuaries poised to help organizations and risk managers tackle some of the challenges mentioned?

Actuaries specialize in quantifying risks using statistics, whether for a business or an insurer or an entire industry and using that information to manage risks in a cost-effective way. This runs the gamut from reviewing a company’s loss history and current insurance policies to informing better choices in the commercial insurance market, all the way to setting up a captive insurance company tailored to the needs and experience of a specific business. In an environment like today with rising premiums and reductions in capacity and coverage options happening for many P&C lines, actuaries can provide organizations with tools and a higher level of confidence around managing their risks and their costs effectively. As an example, actuarial proforma financial models can be leveraged in a captive solution and aid a company’s decision-making around the appropriate balance between retaining risk and utilizing available market options to transfer risk in a cost-effective way.

The pandemic had certain influences on insurance underwriting. Have we transitioned past these pandemic issues yet?

Court room closures, significant reductions in vehicles on the road, delayed healthcare surgeries and procedures and other changes at the onset of the pandemic had a big impact on the underwriting experience of insurance companies for most property and casualty lines of business. As one would expect, when our economic engine slows the frequency of claims also does. As we are now well past these issues and our economy is mostly back up and running, we are now working through other, likely temporary issues that are currently impacting the underwriting experience within the commercial market and driving the need for rate increases. We are certainly seeing this in the auto insurance market. After over a decade of low treasury yields and a low inflationary environment, we are now in a high inflationary environment for personal lines auto. Supply chain issues during the pandemic resulted in significant increases in vehicle costs and have resulted in rising auto claim severities and the need for auto rate increases in the market.

Any final thoughts on the P&C landscape?

It’s a difficult year for property and auto costs, and cyber risks continue increasing. Some of the bottom-line impacts of these changes are unavoidable, but rate and coverage changes in the commercial insurance market are also driven by broad industry patterns that might not apply to a specific organization. I expect to see more businesses taking a close look at their own risk profile and exploring all of their options to close coverage gaps and take advantage of alternative risk funding structures when appropriate.

1 Alera Group’s 2023 P&C Market Outlook
5 S&P Global Market Intelligence, March 2023

Our Managing Partner, Karin Landry will be presenting at The Connecticut Captive Insurance Association (CTICA)’s webinar titled “How to Level Up Your Medical Stop-Loss Program” later this April. You can learn more about her presentation here, and register here.

Captive Review has released a Q&A featuring our Chief Property and Casualty Actuary, Peter Johnson, where he explains the impact of inflation on insurance and risk management practices and how how it intersects with captive insurance. Check out the full Q&A here.

It seems like every year we are seeing new developments in the world of captive insurance on both the national and international scales. After recently attending The Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA) 2023 International Conference, I wanted to share some of the hot topics on the minds of captive professionals around the world. As a board member of CICA and chair of CICA’s NEXTGen young and new professionals committee, I was excited to be so involved this year. The conference definitely did not disappoint; in addition to “extra-curriculars” like the golf tournament and brewery tour, the event also provided great opportunities for networking and learning about current trends and best practices in the world of captives and what the future holds for the industry. I hope you enjoy these highlights.

1. Regulatory and Tax Updates

As per usual, regulatory updates were a highly discussed topic during the conference. As a long-term attendee and speaker at CICA’s annual conferences (and other captive conferences alike), regulatory updates are always pertinent, as laws and best practices are constantly shifting, as seen in the following:

– In a session titled “The Lay of the Land: Captive Taxation,” speakers explored recent administrative, legislative, and judicial updates affecting captive taxation, with a focus on 831(b) small captives.

– Following the addition of 87,000 IRS agents (following the Inflation Reduction Act), a group of tax experts and a lawyer discussed how this will most likely impact audits of small captive cases.

– Three state regulators from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Oklahoma discussed updates we can expect to see from various domiciles during their session, “There’s a New Sheriff (Regulator) in Town.”

– On the second day of the conference, I presented on “What’s New with the DOL and Employee Benefits?”, where we delved into the upsides of writing employee benefits into a captive and how it intersects with DOL regulations.

2. Navigating Inflation

From eggs to rent, no sector can avoid inflation, including the captive/alternative risk financing arena. With that being said, controlling costs and reducing risk is a top priority for many employers across industries and around the world. This year I heard some exciting ideas when comes to addressing inflation, some of which included:

3. The Captive Formation Process (Experiences from Captive Owners)

A couple sessions turned the tables and looked at captives from a different point of view: that of the captive owner. It was very interesting hearing from captive owners on their experiences with forming a captive and what goes through their minds during the process.

4. Shaping the Future Captive Arena

As the Chair of CICA’s NEXTGen young and new professionals committee, I was impressed with the focus CICA put on providing sessions and events aimed specifically towards young professionals looking to enter or grow within the industry. As regulations, best practices, technology, lines of services and more constantly change, it is essential that the next generation of captive professionals are equipped and ready to shape the future of the practice.

– One of my favorite parts of the conference was the CICA Student Essay Contest. University students were given 3 case studies to select from and wrote an essay on establishing a captive for their specific case study (including selecting policy options, determining underwriting and pricing, etc.).

– During the session, “Building Your Personal Board of Directors – Considerations During the Different Stages in Your Career,” speakers discussed the upsides to developing a personal Board of Directors to support career growth and how to get started.

– Finally, I spoke on a panel that discussed what NextGen captive professionals value most in a job. We looked at ways to combat the great resignation and how organizations can better align with young professionals’ career goals.

With many conferences under my belt, CICA never fails to provide a great platform for networking and sharing ideas, I am excited to see what the future has in store for the association and for captives overall. In the meantime, our team will continue to keep our fingers on the pulse of captives to assure we provide clients with industry-leading captive and alternative risk financing services.

Our Senior Vice President, Prabal Lakhanpal, has recently joined The Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA)‘s board of directors. He also currently chairs CICA’s NEXTGen Young and New Professionals Committee; check out the full article here.

During The Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA)’s 2023 annual conference, our SVP, Prabal Lakhanpal presented on behalf of our Managing Partner, Karin Landry, during which he present on what next-gen professionals value most in in a job. You can find Captive International’s recap here.