Commissioner’s Authority, Attorney Fee Award Affirmed

The Second District Court of Appeal says a lower court was correct to deny The Travelers’ challenge of Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s authority to find that unfiled side agreements in a workers’ comp program were unenforceable. The court also upheld an attorney fee award to the policyholder that successfully challenged the validity of these disputed … Read More »

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Nation’s Largest Workers’ Comp Carriers

The first results from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) annual report on market share totals show that the 25 largest workers’ comp carriers continued to control two-thirds of the workers’ comp market with 66.26% market share. At the top, ten groups are the same as last year, although there was some jostling for … Read More »

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Slumping Payroll, Rates Continue to Depress Carriers’ Earnings

Workers’ comp carriers across California report depressed earnings from the just-completed second quarter. Loss of premium dollars continues to impact carriers’ bottom lines. The decline in premium is due in large part to loss of insured payroll, driven by a number of factors ranging from general loss of jobs in the state economy to accounts … Read More »

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FLASH: Some Carriers File Rates

Not waiting for whatever decision California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner issues regarding a mid-year rate increase, several workers’ comp carriers have filed new rates. The carriers have crunched their own numbers and they are well below of the 23.7% recommended by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.  This could portend a continuing completive market, a … Read More »

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Revolving Market of Carriers

After a long fast, one old name in California workers’ comp is said to be regaining its appetite for risk in the Golden State. Two new companies are looking for a seat at the table. And yet another carrier that feasted heavily at the California workers’ comp buffet in the immediate post-reform era has exited … Read More »

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Carrier Earnings Plummet

Early fourth-quarter returns from major workers’ comp carriers are coming in and the news is depressing, but not surprising in light of overall economic conditions. Not only are written premiums off but combined ratios continue to rise while investment earnings disappear. Notable among recent releases was news that Zenith National Insurance Corp.’s (NYSE: ZNT) fourth-quarter … Read More »

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Are Carriers’ Payrolls Safe?

The national unemployment rate is now 7.2% and California’s is even higher, officially at 9.3%, making it the fourth-highest unemployment rate in the nation and the highest the Golden State has seen in more than a decade. And all indications are that it’s only going to get worse. Which leads to the question: With so … Read More »

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CDI Cuts Fees on Producers, Carriers

California Insurance Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner is rolling back the fees and special assessments that his department places on carriers and producers in a bid to lessen the economic pressures on small businesses in these troubling times.  The move follows a 10% reduction in the California Department of Insurance’s operating budget that Poizner … Read More »

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