The Self-Insurance Institute of America (SIIA) is holding its Self-Insured Workers’ Compensation Executive Forum at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans May 12th and 13th. The Forum is an industry favorite and leaders from a variety of workers’ comp self-insured group funds, plus other stakeholders, are expected to be in attendance at this year’s event. SIIA bills the conference as a strong educational program focusing on such topics as excess insurance and risk management strategies. Additionally, “tremendous” networking opportunities are specifically designed to help strengthen business relationships within the self-insured/alternative risk transfer industry. Louisiana Comp Blog spoke with two SIIA workers’ comp leaders to get their take on the upcoming event and what participants stand to gain.
Stu Thompson, CEO of The Builders Group and SIIA Workers’ Compensation Committee Chairman will call the meeting to order on Tuesday afternoon and will also participate in panels over the two days. Thompson expressed his excitement about the conference and said he thinks it will be “the best one yet.”
Of particular interest to the local crowd is Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon’s afternoon presentation on Wednesday, May 13th. Donelon will discuss his “regulator’s point of view” in terms of self-insured workers’ comp generally, and self-insured group funds in particular. The purpose of the short thirty minute presentation is described as an opportunity for attendees to learn how to best maintain a positive relationship with the regulators overseeing self-insurance.
Thompson also notes that the panel topics cover important, broader current issues such as medical marijuana and its workers’ comp implications; a session about predictive analytics and how it can help with claims and underwriting; the effect of the ACA on workers’ compensation; behavioral medicine and coaching in chronic pain. Thompson has high hopes for the value of both the panels and the networking opportunities.
“The sessions will be informational and hopefully motivational as well,” he said. “The one on chronic pain in particular, and some of the success stories in this area are incredible and really moving.”
Duke Niedringhaus, Senior Vice President at J.W. Terrill, Inc. is moderating two of the most technical panel discussions. First, the “Workers’ Comp Excess Carrier Discussion” on Tuesday will close out the day on a collaborative note. Niedringhaus explained, “We will have a market discussion with three of the six stand-alone excess work comp markets to get their perspective on this challenging line of coverage with 30-plus year medical exposure. The executives will also share their insight on the historical overview of the excess market, including carriers that have jettisoned this line, and loss trends from the 1990s when retentions were significantly lower. The three markets represented (led by market leader Safety National) cover over ten percent of the U.S workforce.”
The second session, for which Niedringhaus will be a panelist, addresses the competition between group captives and self-insured workers’ comp. Entitled “You Say SIG, I Say Captive,” Niedringhaus and Freda Bacon, Administrator of the Alabama Self Insured Workers’ Compensation Fund, will be on hand to provide expert insight.
“If there is one trend in the work comp market that everyone needs to understand, it is the record growth of group captives to insure work comp, auto and general liability,” Niedringhaus said. “Group captives offer significant differences to self-insured work comp groups in their structure, premium funding, underwriting, and most importantly, member engagement. We will discuss a scenario of an SIG defending its turf against some compelling advantages of a captive to retain a large ‘best in class’ member. The focus of the session is that group captives will continue record growth and will be a top competitor to SIGs for larger members – SIGs need to understand this competition and be ready to really articulate their value.”