2007 insurance year in review

January 2nd, 2008 by Julie Ferguson

Here at Workers Comp Insider, we’re digging out after a holiday hiatus, and getting back into the swing of things with recaps of top insurance news from 2007 as presented by some of the leading insurance publications. While few of the major insurance stories in 2007 were specific to workers compensation, nothing in the insurance world lives in a vacuum. Anything that affects major property casualty insurers can be expected to have a spillover effect on workers comp.
Business Insurance’s Year in Review offers top 10 lists for news related to risk managers and benefits managers in 2007. While most offer links to more detail, here’s a summary of BI’s picks for the top 10 risk management stories for 2007:

  1. Rates for property/casualty insurance begin to decline
  2. Congressional lawmakers launch efforts to extend the federal terrorism insurance backstop.
  3. Some brokers and insurers float new compensation plans.
  4. Marsh management woes
  5. Private equity expands buyouts of publicly held brokers
  6. AIG sues former executives, including Maurice Greenberg, to recover settlement payouts
  7. IRS moves to limit tax breaks for captives
  8. Supreme Court limits punitive damage awards
  9. A real estate developer and insurers settle on World Trade Center coverage
  10. New York proposes easing reinsurer collateral rules

Insurance Journal offers a rundown of the top insurance stories for 2007. More commentary about each item can be found in the article, but here’s a summary:

  1. Climate Change
  2. Hurricanes Hardly Happen
  3. Soft Market … Everywhere
  4. Subprime Mortgage Credit Crunch
  5. Terrorism Coverage
  6. ‘Made in China’ Loses Its Luster
  7. Agency Compensation
  8. Fires and Floods
  9. Regulation Rumbles
  10. Marsh Meltdown Hits MMC

Sam Friedman of National Underwriter offers his top 10 story picks on his blog A View From the Press Box. More detailed stories can be accessed via links – here’s the summary:

  1. Prices Plummet, With No Letup In Sight
  2. Critics Fry Insurers Over Katrina Claims
  3. TRIA Extension Goes To The Wire
  4. Floridians On The Hook For Billions
  5. A New Sheriff Cleans Up New York
  6. Bermuda Sitting Pretty, But For How Long?
  7. ‘Sicko’ Exposes Health Insurance Ills
  8. Real Time: It’s Now Or Never!
  9. IRS Attack Blindsides Captives
  10. California Fires Burn Insurer Reputations

Terrorism update – One of the stories that appears on all three lists was the pending renewal of a terrorism insurance bill. In an eleventh hour move before its expiration, on Dec. 26, Bush extended the terrorism insurance backstop with his signing of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 (TRIPRA). This will extend protection for seven years under similar terms as the current program.