Workers' Compensation Insurance: As Good as it Gets


Michael Warner
Conning, Inc.

Conning—Positive Workers’ Compensation Insurance Performance Will Face Challenges 

(Hartford, CT) February 13, 2019—The extremely favorable workers’ compensation insurance results of recent years are poised for change, according to a new study by Conning.

“In the past three years, workers’ compensation results have been more favorable than in any other period in the past half-century,” said Jerry Theodorou, a Vice President, Insurance Research at Conning. “The calendar-year combined ratio averaged 94 percent in 2015-2017, and profitability continued in 2018, with our combined ratio projection estimated to be below 90 percent.  However, the line has shown sluggish premium growth due to the combination of modest payroll growth and widespread rate decreases over the past three years.”

The Conning study, “Workers’ Compensation Insurance: As Good as it Gets” looks beyond the cycle to analyze external structural forces driving long-lasting change to workers’ compensation insurance, including unfolding economic, technological, and societal trends that will fundamentally alter workplaces, transform the workforce, and change loss potential.

“Our near-term outlook for the workers’ compensation line is for deteriorating results in the next three to five years amid continued rate reductions, flattening loss frequency, rising loss severity, and weakening loss reserve releases,” said Steve Webersen, Head of Insurance Research at Conning. “While some of this will be cycle-driven, there are many external forces we analyzed that will drive long-lasting change to workers’ compensation insurance, including labor shortages, new immigration patterns, an aging workforce, cutbacks in safety and job training, among others. Insurers will need to carefully consider the impact of these and other forces in their markets, both cyclical and structural, and develop strategies to respond.”

Workers’ Compensation Insurance: As Good as it Gets” is available for purchase from Conning by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting 

About Conning® 

Conning ( is a leading investment management firm with approximately $133 billion in global assets under management as of December 31, 2018.* With a long history of serving the insurance industry, Conning supports institutional investors, including pension plans, with investment solutions and asset management offerings, award-winning risk modeling software, and industry research. Founded in 1912, Conning has investment centers in Asia, Europe and North America.

*As of December 31, 2018, represents the combined global assets under management for the affiliated firms under Conning Holdings Limited, Cathay Securities Investment Trust Co., Ltd. (“SITE”) and Global Evolution Fondsmæglerselskab A/S and its group of companies (the “Global Evolution Companies”).  The Global Evolution Companies are affiliates of Conning.  SITE reports internally into Conning Asia Pacific Limited, but is a separate legal entity under Cathay Financial Holding Co., Ltd. which is the ultimate controlling parent of all Conning controlled entities.