Willis Re, the reinsurance operations of global broker Willis Group Holdings recently issued new research on at-work motor vehicle accidents; a significant and common concern among carriers insuring the Workers’ Compensation (WC) class of business. The Willis research quantifies for the first time WC insurers’ exposure to motor vehicle accidents with more than one worker in the vehicle. Willis’ ability to measure this is crucial in helping underwriters become more comfortable writing accounts with this exposure. This is particularly important because all WC carriers are exposed to this peril, regardless of the profession of the insured. Recent studies confirm that at-work motor vehicle accidents are extremely severe and a growing share of total WC losses. Subsequently, reinsurers are also paying close attention to this problem and trying to incorporate this exposure into their pricing. The key findings of the research are:
• The majority of WC motor vehicle accidents are single occupant.
• WC motor vehicle accidents with more than eight occupants are extremely rare, even on a national basis.
• Motor vehicle accidents have a very high ratio of fatality to permanent total (PT) injuries. However, auto safety advances could increase the frequency of the PTs (which are extremely expensive), thus increasing the economic risk to WC carriers.
The Willis Re Workers Compensation Resource Group will continue to research this issue and intends to identify individual insurer expected loss, focus on specific class codes and consider the impact of a potential increase in the frequency of permanent total claims.
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