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Leading writers in 11 key P&C insurance markets

Here's a look at the leading writers in 11 property and casualty lines in 2015, based on data provided by SNL Financial.
Here's a look at the leading writers in 11 property and casualty lines in 2015, based on data provided by SNL Financial.

Here's a look at the leading writers in 11 key property and casualty lines in 2015, based on data provided by SNL Financial, an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The data shown here is derived from all U.S. companies that file with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The numbers reflect net premiums written (in $000s), with the exception of directors and officers and stand-alone cybersecurity, which are ranked by direct premiums written because of the fact that NAIC statements do not disclose net premiums written for those lines.


Investing in, not running from workers’ comp

Although many carriers have pulled back from underwriting workers’ compensation business, Travelers continues to invest in the line.

Those investments have paid off: The carrier has achieved a combined ratio 13 points better than the industry average over the past five years.

One example of the investment in innovation is the insurer's Early Severity Predictor model.

Using data and analytics, Travelers can help employers identify injured workers who could develop into chronic pain cases early in the life of the injury — before addictions to pain medications and opioids can take root. 

“The results in the first year of the model are excellent,” says Rich Ives, vice president, workers’ compensation. “Employees are recovering more quickly, we’ve seen the use of opioids decline measurably and the cost of recovery has been reduced by as much as 50% in some cases.”

Note: Net premiums written are in billions.

Related: Turbulence ahead in Workers' Comp?

Staying ahead of the curve in commercial auto

At Progressive Corp., whose premiums in commercial auto surged from just under $1.42 billion in 2014 to nearly $2.11 billion in 2015, the key to gaining market share has been staying ahead of trends.

When the economy began to rebound out of the recession, “we recognized that growing businesses meant more vehicles on the road,” says John Barbagallo, the insurer's commercial lines president. In turn, Progressive raised rates to meet the increased frequency and severity of accidents. This positioned the carrier well, as it has become the line's premium leader as measured by NAIC data.

Commercial auto's continued evolution poses the biggest difficulty in writing policies, says Barbagallo.

But with fewer players currently in this space, there is greater opportunity.

Carriers must be aware of new trends and changing customer needs to turn industry challenges into business opportunities.

For example, the sharing economy and the growth of transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, are responsible for one recent market shakeup.

“TNCs have commercial insurance needs, and earlier this year in the state of Texas we began insuring Uber as a policyholder, providing coverages to drivers, vehicles and passengers,” Barbagallo notes.

 

Note: Net premiums written are in billions.

Related: A harder road ahead for Commercial Auto

 

Note: Net premiums written are in billions.

Consistency: the key differentiator in commercial multi-peril

“One of the main reasons for our success in this line is our consistency,” says Travelers’ Jim Coyle, vice president and first-party product line lead.

Yet that consistency does not equate to complacency: While weather patterns may change and new exposures and competitors continue to emerge, he notes, the carrier's ongoing investment in technology has been a critical factor.

Properly assessing and managing the impact of weather and other potential catastrophe events is one of the most significant challenges underwriters face.

Travelers regularly reviews emerging issues, says Coyle, including changing climate conditions, to consider potential changes to its modeling (and the use of such modeling), and to help determine the need for new underwriting strategies, coverage modifications or new products.

Some of these emerging exposures relate in part to advancements in technology, such as cyber, unmanned aircraft systems and hydraulic fracturing.

Related: Less 'Peril'ous, in rate terms

 

Note: Net premiums written are in billions.

Fire: Where scale and investment spark innovation

What makes AIG the top carrier writing fire coverage?

Scale, a diverse portfolio and continuity — as well as significant investments in the excess and surplus lines sector, according to its president of property and special risks, George Stratts.

He notes that the carrier has invested in engineering and analytics over the past five years to help strengthen the company's value propositions and focus on clients. “We’ve added over 400 engineers globally, to bring our total number to 700,” says Stratts. “We’ve also made significant investments in analytics. Those two investments allow us to have a better insight into risk and to be a better risk partner for our clients.”

That said, it's a highly competitive market — and coupled with constantly changing risks, being a leader in the sector has not been easy, he adds.

Continued evolution and innovation, says Stratts, have been essential in helping AIG get to the top: “As a global insurer we have the risk insights that a portfolio this large and diverse is able to offer to our clients. This allows us to help them find not just risk capacity but risk solutions, and help them maintain their business continuity. All that together helps us to be a market leader, and we hope and expect it's differentiating — but clients are the ones who decide that.”

 

Note: Cybersecurity direct premiums written and surety net premiums written are in billions.

 

Note: Product liability net premiums written and directors and officers direct premiums written are in billions.

 

Note: Net premiums written are in billions.

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