Small businesses, workers’ compensation pools and mid-size insurance firms stand to benefit from growing trends within the insurance market. From dropping rates, to increased granularity and affordable software solutions, small insurers of all stripes are poised to make gains.
Small to mid-size businesses should expect rate drops to continue throughout 2018 due to improved worker safety and increased automation. Other variables that contribute to falling and rising rates are changes in labor legislation and the cost of healthcare. Some states might see relatively insignificant decreases when compared to others, with a handful experiencing a slight increase.
Overall, the forecast from the National Council on Compensation Insurance is that 36 states will see a rate decrease, with nine states anticipating a double-digit drop. Only two southern states, Virginia and North Carolina, are expected to see a slight increase in rates.
The need to keep up with rate changes, legislative actions, fictional costs and regulatory demands has triggered small insurers and risk-pools to adopt stronger core systems that offer automated multi-state underwriting modules, rules-based quote creations, audits, renewals, document creation, risk management software, CRM software and customized portals within a single-platform solution.
Policyholders or member portals provide a sense of independence when choosing personalized coverage options and making payments. Broker portals allow agents to complete numerous tasks via one integrated platform that is secured by management software. Client information, when shared with other team members through in-platform communication channels, is kept secure.
Fragmented Markets and Granularity
Small insurers are facing increased competition from large, multi-state or global insurers. As recently as last year, insurance industry consultants believed that the availability of online insurance options for small business spelled disaster for small insurers and workers’ comp providers. However, technology has improved. Affordable, customized software, powered by analytics, allows small and mid-size insurers to identify niche markets, convert leads and reward loyal customers.
Customers desire easy-to-understand policies and smooth claims resolutions. As insurance software packages become increasing flexible, automated and affordable, small firms have the opportunity to meet customer desires and stay ahead of workers’ comp trends.