Greetings from the NCCI Annual Issues Symposium (AIS)

The National Council this morning gave its annual update on the state of the workers’ compensation line.  As always, Chief Actuary Kathy Antonello did an awesome job of updating the most senior workers’ comp professionals across the globe on all of the relevant economic performance indicators that help us to understand this line of insurance.

The full report can be found off the NCCI website…

https://www.ncci.com/Articles/Pages/II_NewsFromAIS.aspx

…as well as other conference highlights.  Some key points to me from the report:

  • The expected combined ratio for this year is the lowest in almost half a century at an 89.  This is 5 points lower then last year’s 94.  This indicates an operating margin of 11 points on average.
  • The investment income gain went from 10.4% to 12% this year, effectively providing an overall return to workers’ compensation insurers of 23%
  • The overall market volume dropped from $45.6b to $45b in premiums, mostly due to rate drops countrywide.
  • The top five class codes (hardest to place) in the residual market are:
    • Carpentry 5645
    • Roofing 5551
    • Local Trucking 7228
    • Painting 5474
    • Long Haul Trucking 7229

I’d expect a lot of capital support for the line due to these results.

Always a great event and wonderful to catch up with so many friends –

Travelers Group the Largest Writer of Workers’ Compensation in 2017

As a former Liberty Mutual guy, it shocks me they have dropped to 7’th.  For years and years they were #1 on this front…
Amtrust continues to ascend and now at #4 with almost $3B written…
6 of the 25 are competitive state funds with New York at #8 the largest — California (SCIF) now being #13 with the largest overall workers’ compensation premiums speaks to the competitiveness of the overall market…
Lowest overall loss ratio was SAIF (Oregon State Fund) at an incredible 39.44% against the average of 56.9% and the high of 89.14% (AIG)…
Very interesting to see the diverse range of DCC (ALAE) charges… some companies are double digits, while others under 1% to the overall loss ratio…
I’m guessing that the NCCI will be announcing another profitable year for workers’ compensation in Orlando this week during the “State of the Line”…
See you there!
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Buffett Not Eager for Berkshire to Be Cyber Insurance Leader

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2018/05/07/488425.htm

Some intriguing comments from Warren Buffet on the State of cyber insurance.  My favorite (which I agree with), “I don’t think we or anybody else really knows what they’re doing when writing cyber” insurance, Buffett said Saturday at his firm’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. “We don’t want to be a pioneer on this.”

From both sides off the table (agent and underwriter) there is still much more to learn in this burgeoning insurance product line which has increased premiums written 35% in the last two years.

Buffett Not Eager for Berkshire to Be Cyber Insurance Leader

By Sonali Basak and Katherine Chiglinsky | May 7, 2018

 

Warren Buffett said he doesn’t want Berkshire Hathaway Inc. being a leader on cyber insurance because neither he nor others in the industry really know the risk.

“I don’t think we or anybody else really knows what they’re doing when writing cyber” insurance, Buffett said Saturday at his firm’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. “We don’t want to be a pioneer on this.”

Buffett said that cyber risk is part of his estimate that every year carries about a 2 percent chance of a super catastrophe that would cause $400 billion or more of insured losses. While that kind of disaster will wipe out many companies, Berkshire will aim to keep its exposure low enough to remain profitable in such a year, the 87-year-old chairman said.

Buffett said he’s fine with writing some cyber policies to remain competitive, but doesn’t want to be among the top three in the industry. Anyone who claims to know the base case or worst case for losses is “kidding themselves,” he said.

[Property/casualty insurers wrote $1.35 billion in direct written premium for cyber insurance in 2016, a 35 percent jump from 2015, according to reports by Fitch Ratings and A.M. Best.

According to the reports, the largest cyber insurance writers are American International Group, XL Group and Chubb. These companies had a combined market share of approximately 40 percent at year-end 2016. The top 15 writers of cyber held approximately 83 percent of the market in 2016.

Completing the top 10 writers of cyber ranked by direct premium written are: Travelers, Beazley, CNA, Liberty Mutual, BCS Insurance (owned by Blue Cross licensees), AXIS Insurance Group and Allied World.]

Gig Economy Business Model Dealt a Blow in California Ruling

Gig Economy Business Model Dealt a Blow in California Ruling

It is going to be very difficult for the Ubers, Lyfts and GrubHubs to get around this…

Why not just make these folks employees?

“Industry executives have estimated that classifying drivers and other gig workers as employees tends to cost 20 to 30 percent more than classifying them as contractors.”

$$$

These workers deserve protection as any other employee.  As cool as these business models are, they can make a little less, pay a little more and protect the American worker…

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An Uber sticker above one for its ride-hailing rival Lyft. Even if a ruling like California’s eventually forces such companies to change their business model, that moment could be far off.CreditRichard Vogel/Associated Press

In a ruling with potentially sweeping consequences for the so-called gig economy, the California Supreme Court on Monday made it much more difficult for companies to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees.

The decision could eventually require companies like Uber, many of which are based in California, to follow minimum-wage and overtime laws and to pay workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance and payroll taxes, potentially upending their business models.

Industry executives have estimated that classifying drivers and other gig workers as employees tends to cost 20 to 30 percent more than classifying them as contractors. It also brings benefits that can offset these costs, though, like the ability to control schedules and the manner of work.

“It’s a massive thing — definitely a game-changer that will force everyone to take a fresh look at the whole issue,” said Richard Meneghello, a co-chairman of the gig-economy practice group at the management-side law firm Fisher Phillips.

The court essentially scrapped the existing test for determining employee status, which was used to assess the degree of control over the worker. That test hinged on roughly 10 factors, like the amount of supervision and whether the worker could be fired without cause.

In its place, the court erected a much simpler “ABC” test that is applied in Massachusetts and New Jersey. Under that test, the worker is considered an employee if he or she performs a job that is part of the “usual course” of the company’s business.

By way of an example, the court said a plumber hired by a store to fix a bathroom leak would not reasonably be considered an employee of that store. But seamstresses sewing at home using materials provided by a clothing manufacturer would probably be considered employees.

In addition, a company must show that it does not control and direct the worker, and that the worker is truly an independent business operator, not just classified that way unilaterally.

While companies like Uber have had some success arguing that they don’t exert sufficient control over drivers to be considered employers, it would be hard to assert that drivers are performing a task that isn’t a standard feature of their business.

In a recent case involving the restaurant ordering and delivery service GrubHub, for example, a California judge found that food delivery was a regular part of the company’s business in Los Angeles, where the plaintiff worked, potentially satisfying the ABC test. But she ruled in favor of the company, concluding that it did not exert sufficient control over the worker to be considered an employer.

Shannon Liss-Riordan, the attorney for the plaintiff in that case, said she would seek reconsideration in light of the new ruling.

GrubHub said in a statement that it was aware of Monday’s ruling but could not comment because of the appeals process in the case, other than to say it “will continue to ensure delivery partners can take advantage of the flexibility they value from working with our company.”

Uber declined to comment.

The case on which the court ruled Monday was brought by delivery drivers at a company called Dynamex, who had been considered employees before 2004, when the company changed the relationship to a contracting arrangement.

Were the courts to find that workers at companies like GrubHub and Uber, as now constituted, were employees rather than contractors, the companies could respond in several ways. They could simply make their workers employees rather than contactors.

Alternatively, ride-hailing companies like Uber might choose to rein in their operations, providing a more limited platform in which drivers and passengers can negotiate prices and the terms of the service.

Even if Uber and the like are eventually forced to change their business model, however, that moment could be far off. Uber drivers typically sign an arbitration agreement stating that any disputes must be brought individually and outside the court system. While the United States Supreme Court recently heard a challenge to such agreements, it is widely expected to uphold them.

Florida Workers’ Compensation Rate Reduction of 1.8% Effective 6.1

While the rationale for this reduction I suppose makes sense as the brilliant people at the NCCI proposed it, I have to wonder what now happens at the end of the year when data from the 2016 Castellanos and Westphal verdicts comes into play.  Specifically, will rates go up or down this coming year due to increased cost of litigation (Castellanos) as well as the doubled TTD exposure (Westphal).  When rates were reduced this past 1/1 by almost 10 points, data was not in on the impact of these two watershed cases.

Perhaps the NCCI will speak to that in Orlando at their Annual Issues Symposium May 16-18 where they provide guidance on the “state of the line”…This coupled with Anniversary Rating Dates going away will make things lively from a pricing standpoint in Florida for PEO’s.  If you have an effective date prior to 1.1.18, you are now at a pricing deficit of 11.6% (9.8 + the 1.8 effective June 1)….

OIR Approves Workers’ Comp Insurance Rate Decrease

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation announced today that it has approved a rate decrease for workers’ compensation insurance in Florida. The 1.8% decrease was filed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) in a law-only filing resulting from the effects of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said, “Reducing insurance costs and financial burdens is great news for our business community. Businesses in Florida support our local communities, create jobs, and help our state’s economy. This rate reduction is a much needed insurance cost savings for Florida businesses.”

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam H. Putnam said, “Reducing the cost of business spurs job growth, and this rate reduction is exactly what Florida needs to continue to create the business climate that will help our economy thrive.”

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier said, “NCCI has demonstrated through its rate filing that this decrease is an actuarially-sound response to the savings workers’ compensation insurers have realized as a result of recent federal legislation. The data indicates that passing the savings along to businesses through a rate decrease is an appropriate response at this time.”

The overall rate level change is a 1.8% decrease due to a change in the Profit and Contingency (P&C) Factor to 0.5% from 1.85%. NCCI’s analysis to determine the revised P&C reflects provisions from the recently-passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including top corporate tax rate decreases, changes to reserve discount factors, and other factors. This applies to both new and renewal workers’ compensation insurance policies effective in Florida as of June 1, 2018.

About the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has primary responsibility for regulation, compliance and enforcement of statutes related to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry markets. For more information about the Office, please visit or follow us on Twitter @FLOIR_command Facebook.

 

Insurers Making Data Driven Decisions

In many cases, PEO’s adopt the same risk position as a small insurance company with retentions in the seven figures.  Understanding how to properly value and price business is paramount, while understanding trends through key performance indicators  after the business is written fundamental to a profitable portfolio of workers’ compensation business.  The smart will be faster then the big in the new world of underwriting decisions by empirical evidence versus instinct and intuition.

From our friends at the Insurance Journal –

How Predictive Analytics Boost Commercial Insurance Profits, Smooth Cycles

April 5, 2018

“Underwriting cycles have been impacted by the quicker determination of underwriting, pricing and claims trends and the ability of companies to react to them through the depth of analysis made possible by the integration of data and predictive analytics in insurance,” the report said. “The evolution of more sophisticated underwriting tools, along with improved company risk management capabilities and greater scrutiny by regulators, has paired with the proliferation of enhanced data and predictive analytics to dampen the highs and lows of underwriting cycles.”

 A.M. Best said a number of factors over the last decade within the commercial lines market segment have made predictive analytics a more useful and successful tool. Among the more impactful advancements: enterprise risk management technology advances.

“Enhanced enterprise risk management processes have helped companies improve decision-making through different disciplines,” A.M. Best said.

As an example A.M. Best cites how this helped carriers process record commercial lines catastrophe losses in 2017.

“Despite catastrophe losses within the commercial lines segment nearly doubling in 2017 from multiple events, the losses were most often within stated risk tolerances and fell within company catastrophe retentions,” A.M. Best noted. The reason: advances among commercial lines insurers’ enterprise risk management programs. A greater use of data and analytics has also enabled better underwriting choices.

“Greater utilization of data and analytics has led to better insights into risk selection – when and where to grow or to shrink – and the establishment of technical prices while expanding into other areas, such as claims management,” A.M. Best said. The ratings agency added that these actions, in its view, have helped dampen “the effects of the commercial lines underwriting cycle,” benefiting carriers that used data and analytics to help them respond better to market changes.

Quick vs. Slow Adapters

Successful carriers use the new data/analytics/enterprise risk management systems to gain better insights and make quicker decisions than their rivals, according to A.M. Best, which added that this trend should spread over time as the use of these newer technologies grows.

A.M. Best also warns, however, that carriers that don’t properly use these technology tools to adapt to market changes will suffer.

“Those that do not improve their responsiveness risk being adversely selected against in their chosen markets,” A.M. Best said. “Simply investing in technology and analytics will not ensure success for commercial lines insurers. Those companies best positioned to outperform competitors in the future are those cognizant of the limitations of data and which acknowledge that predictive models are just tools. More data does not directly correlate to better insights.”

A.M. Best’s full report is “Predictive Analytics Aids Performance, Balances Underwriting Cycles for Commercial Lines Insurers.

Source: A.M. Best

EPLI Claims Reach Tipping Point Amid Anti-Sexual Harassment Movement

It would only be logical that based on the recent #meToo movement that frequency in sexual harassment events has and will increase.  The impact to carriers and on future premiums is yet to be understood, but would be expected to be material –

All the more reason to have a Professional Employer as your partner!

by Andrea Wells of MyNewMarkets.com

From Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein to famed television journalist Matt Lauer, to thousands of others speaking out through the social media movement #MeToo, sexual harassment allegations from individuals who claim to have been victimized by their employers and colleagues continue to surface.

The insurance industry is expecting a wave of employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) claims to roll in following the recent storm of sexual harassment allegations in entertainment, media, hospitality and other industries.

The current period represents a tipping point, according to Patrick Mitchell, management liability product head at Hiscox.

“In the past, employees feared retaliation and may not have reported harassment,” he said. Recent attention is likely to ease those fears. “So while retaliation is definitely possible, it appears now employees have the courage to report regardless of the consequences.”

Insurance experts say no industry or company is immune. While the initial wave of EPLI claims is likely to target high profile and large companies, there is the potential for a trickle-down effect on other industries, experts say.

“We’ve seen a lot of headlines for particular industries (entertainment/media), but the truth is, sexual harassment allegations can happen in any industry and in companies of all sizes,” Mitchell said.

“I think we’re seeing the tip of the iceberg,” agrees Jared Zola, a partner and insurance recovery expert at the law firm Blank Rome. While today it’s high-profile alleged bad actors being targeted who are very public figures in politics, media and entertainment, he thinks there will soon be “a flood of claims from employees or former employees at companies in every industry of every size.”

The likelihood of an employer being hit by a discrimination charge of any kind is higher than employers may realize. In 2016, U.S. companies had at least a 10.5 percent chance of having an employment charge filed against them, according to The Hiscox Guide to Employment Lawsuits, which was compiled using the latest data on employment charge activity from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and its state counterparts. Employment charges are often the first step toward employment suits. Employment discrimination charges can be based on race, sex, disability, age, national origin, religion, color and others in addition to sexual harassment. Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws.

EEOC data from 2016 show that retaliation is the most common discrimination charge filed and is named in nearly half of all charges (45.9 percent). However, in many cases, more than one category can be cited in an EEOC discrimination filing.

Watershed Moment

Rick Betterley, president of Betterley Risk Consultants Inc., and author of The Betterley Report, believes this period will be seen as a watershed moment similar to what happened in 1991 when Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas, President George H.W. Bush’s Supreme Court nominee, of sexual harassment when the two worked together. Betterley sees this moment as a significant turning point not only in U.S. employment, but also in employment-related insurance.

While the recent surge in sexual harassment allegations has not yet translated into claims, it’s most likely only a matter of time before the EPLI claims start arriving. When they do, there is most likely to be coverage for those employers that have purchased EPLI coverage.

“This is not a situation with an insurance company saying, ‘We never planned on covering that.’ They did plan on it. They wrote the policies to cover it. EPLI grew out of the Clarence Thomas hearings and Anita Hill’s testimony. That’s a big part of where this coverage started,” Betterley said.

At the same time, he believes the insurance industry can handle the claims. “It could be a big deal for the line, but I don’t see it as wrecking the line either,” he said.

EPLI has been a mature market for many years, with growth averaging 4.4 percent over the past four years in the United States, according to Betterley’s recently released Employment Practices Liability Insurance Market Survey 2017.

Potential Claims

Betterley foresees most claims activity stemming from the recent storm in sexual harassment allegations targeted at larger and/or prominent employers and suggests they may even be limited to only higher risk industries.

“There are some industries where you would say that the underwriters are already looking more carefully, thanks to the last couple of months, than maybe they would have been before. Entertainment’s one of them,” he said.

Underwriters are also likely to closely watch companies whose leaders have a more visible public profile.

“Let’s say it is an investment banking firm (with a high-profile CEO). … As an underwriter, they’re already paying closer attention to those industries or scenarios … the famous person or the entertainment person, but now they’re paying even closer attention,” Betterley said.

However, the insurance effects will not be restricted to industries being more closely scrutinized by underwriters. The problem of sexual harassment will eventually spill into all industries, according to Betterley, because employees who believe they’ve been harmed are now less likely to remain silent than before the current outpouring.

“If they brought a case against the employer, they perhaps didn’t have a great lawyer, maybe they settled for $25,000, or didn’t really push the allegation at all,” Betterley said. “Now, they’re reading about people getting millions and millions of dollars (in settlements). They’re saying, ‘I’m not going to settle as easily as I might have before.’”

Betterley compares it to what the insurance industry saw in the medical liability market years ago.

“I remember having a client say, ‘Our typical med-mal claim used to be $800,000, but people have been reading about lottery winners and CEOs with tens or hundreds of millions of dollars of compensation.’ All of a sudden, $800,000 is ‘paltry.’ Well, no, it’s not, but if you believe it is, then you won’t settle as quickly,” he said. “I think the same thing will happen with EPLI.”

Coverage

The industry will feel the impact because there’s not much dispute that sexual harassment is covered as a wrongful practice under an EPLI policy.

“The policy provides coverage for a wrongful employment practice, which is a defined term. One of the prongs of what a wrongful employment practice is, is sexual harassment,” Zola said.

The definition of sexual harassment under an EPLI policy can be some “actual or alleged sexual advance that is unwelcomed, that has a purpose of creating an intimidating or hostile work environment,” Zola explained. This can encompass a broad set of circumstances, however, where there’s unwelcomed attention brought on an employee by another individual at the company that creates an uncomfortable work environment. That circumstance is probably enough to trigger coverage, according to Zola.

Joe Kelly, vice president and employment practices liability practice leader at Sompo International, a Bermuda-based global specialty insurer and reinsurer, agrees that there’s no question that sexual harassment is covered under EPLI policies.

“The EPLI contract is very straightforward in covering claims of sexual harassment so there’s no coverage issue,” Kelly said.

However, one issue that could affect the recent wave of sexual harassment allegations is the statute of limitations for coverage to be triggered.

The statute of limitations for filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC is 180 days. The statute does vary by state so it’s possible there’s a window of opportunity to file in a certain state beyond the 180 days, Kelly stated.

Some claimants are choosing to file under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), which does not expressly establish a period of limitations. “We saw this with some of the Weinstein claims and now there’s a group of women bringing a claim under RICO,” he said. “That’s one reason why they might bring charges under RICO.”

Another reason claims might be filed under RICO, according to Kelly, is that damages can be much higher.

Sexual harassment coverage is commonly broad, with no sublimit for sexual harassment, according to Marie-France Gelot, senior vice president of the insurance and claims counsel at Lockton. Coverage under an EPLI policy goes to both employees, and in most policies today, also for third parties including clients, customers and vendors. “It’s not just employees, it’s a vendor of the company, a customer of the company.” Any party – employee, customer, vendor – alleging they are sexually harassed by someone from the insured employer can trigger coverage, she said.

Some policies provide broader coverage than others, so it’s important for employers and their agents and brokers to review all terms and conditions, she said.

For example, many EPLI policies have bodily injury exclusions, but some don’t, notes Gelot. “The bodily injury exclusion in a sexual harassment conversation would draw a very hard line if harassment leads to something like rape,” she said. “But I’ve had cases where you had a rape by an employee that the EPLI insurer has had to cover despite the fact that the company didn’t want the carrier to cover it. The carrier had to cover it because there was no bodily injury exclusion, and the coverage was so broad.”

Another example, according to Zola, is that coverage could possibly be voided if certain individuals in a workplace knew about the alleged harassment.

“The real question is going to be who does the policy identify as being a person whose knowledge is sufficient to exclude coverage,” Zola said. “The language is different on policies, but some typical language is fact, circumstance, situation or event that reasonably would be regarded as a basis for a claim. That language being imprecise, I think, is fertile grounds for factual disputes as to when a company or officers or directors of a company should have known that a claim was likely based on the knowledge they had at the time.”

Zola says this can be seen in the media allegations that some “bad actors” had certain reputations for activities that would be considered sexual harassment. “The question is who at the company knew about that reputation and whether rumor and reputation are sufficient to exclude a claim based on the policy language,” Zola said.

The size of the claim makes a difference when it comes to knowledge-based exclusions, he added.

“The claims that I’ve handled in the past involving sexual harassment allegations, there was no media spotlight on them, and so, there wasn’t this deep-dig by the media and by the public into what people at the company knew or didn’t know about the allegations,” Zola said. Even so, an employer’s knowledge of harassment by an alleged harasser is a defense that the insurance companies will pursue through discovery rather than in the media, he said.

Other lines of insurance, including directors and officers (D&O), could potentially be involved as well.

“The idea with D&O policies is, especially for public companies, if there are widespread allegations, that the directors or officers failed to protect their fiduciary obligations to the shareholders by allowing a culture of impropriety,” Zola said.

When allegations are made, stock prices may drop, which can lead to “very serious derivative suits” that could be covered by D&O insurance.

Zola says general liability could be another line to come into play for allegations of bodily injury in certain states. According to Zola, in states like New York, sexual harassment can rise to a level of emotional distress even without any physical touching. “This is considered bodily injury, as that word is used in a general liability policy. In all states, physical touching that leads to damages is considered bodily injury,” he said. “It depends on the allegations by the claimant, but it could implicate both of those lines as well.”

In Kelly’s view, general liability would have excluded this type of coverage, but the D&O coverage could play a role as it can in cyber.

“We saw this with cyber where there were cyber breaches but then there were follow-on derivative suits brought on behalf of the company against the board of directors for failing to put the proper controls in place to prevent a breach,” said Sompo International’s Kelly. “You could have the exact same type of derivative suit for failing to supervise the CEO of the company who is a known harasser or failing to remove that person if there was a known event that occurred, and the board didn’t act appropriately.”

Time to Review

Lockton’s Gelot said this is a time for employers and agents/brokers to review policy wording carefully.

“You have some policies today that have specific wording meant to narrow the scope of covered sexual harassment – and those policies would drive a clear distinction between behavior that is insurable versus behavior that is so egregious that to insure it would be offensive or outright against public policy,” she said. That might include wording in some policies that the policy will cover “everything except harassment that is deemed licentious or immoral or sexual abuse or exploitation or abuse of child.” Not all policies contain such wording, she said.

EPLI Going Forward

The disturbing recent spate of workplace sexual harassment complaints could have positive effects for the industry and the EPLI market as well, experts say.

“Anytime there’s a major event in any line of insurance, it always raises awareness,” said Kelly. “Major senior level execs and the boards are even being called out on what they are doing (to prevent such behavior) and they are asking what kind of EPLI coverage do we have?”

These executives better make sure that they not only have EPLI coverage, but also that their limits are adequate, Kelly said, noting that this type of questioning is going to drive more demand in the market and potentially higher limits.

In 2016, gross written premium for EPLI was $2.1 billion, according to MarketStance, and it estimates a possible bump to $2.3 billion or more for 2017-2018.

There are many smaller employers that still do not purchase the coverage. Roughly seven out of 10 businesses don’t carry EPLI, according to TrustedChoice.com.

But just how market growth will be affected following the attention on sexual harassment in the workplace remains to be seen, Betterley said. Small commercial accounts, while forecast to grow most rapidly over the next year, have the lowest take-up rates for EPLI coverage, he said.

“I think it (the recent attention) will have an impact,” Betterley said. “I don’t know that I’ve seen it just yet. One impact perhaps is that if you’ve got a potential insured that has not been buying EPLI, now they will want to buy.”

Those employers that haven’t purchased the coverage might get a tougher reception from insurance markets, he added. “The underwriter is going to be really interested in the why now? A good answer, I guess, would be, ‘Have you read the newspaper?’” While insurers may be glad to gain more insureds, they may be more cautious about taking on employers that until now haven’t been buying coverage, he said.

Hiscox’s Mitchell says it’s difficult to predict how EPLI insurers will react to a rise in sexual harassment claims in 2018, but it’s likely to be a mix of changes in premium rates, retentions and restructuring coverage. For now, one thing is certain. “It’s something all insurance companies will be monitoring closely,” he said.