Louisiana Comp Blog spoke to Chris Wilson, Marketing Account Executive for Midlands, about the new Midlands Baton Rouge office, excess workers’ comp coverage in Louisiana and the national reinsurance market. Read on for his perspective on the issue:
Comp Blog: How long have you been with Midlands?
Wilson: I’ve been with Midlands since November of 2013.
Comp Blog: Are you from Louisiana?
Wilson: I am originally from New Jersey but I have been in Louisiana since 1990.
Comp Blog: As the Marketing Account Executive, what is your role within the company?
Wilson: I am constantly growing the Midlands brand throughout Louisiana. My job is to market our products to SIF Administrators and their broker. Plus, I promote our exclusive excess workers’ comp product and public entity program to agents and brokers who specialize in the self-insured and public entity marketplace.
Comp Blog: Can you describe some of your clients?
Wilson: We are currently the underwriter and claims administration service for the Louisiana Home Builders’ Association General Liability Trust and have been since its inception just over twelve years ago. In addition, we have several other exclusives and a full service MGA with a host of markets for the surplus lines needs of agents throughout Louisiana and the Gulf South.
Comp Blog: So Midlands specializes in excess workers’ compensation program management but you also provide a variety of other services. Can you explain what those are?
Wilson: We have several exclusive programs: our Public Entity Package Program, Occupational Accident, Tx Non-Subscriber, Livestock/Blockstock Mortality and a full service MGA. In addition, our regular services include: audits, commutation, litigation, loss adjustment, managed care, MidClaim Software, and Risk Management.
Comp Blog: How much of your business would you say is excess workers’ comp?
Wilson: Nationwide, we are the third largest writer of excess workers’ comp in the country. Right now, we have twenty excess workers’ comp policy holders here in Louisiana.
Comp Blog: Midlands was founded in 1990 in Oklahoma City and has expanded ever since, starting in Texas. Do you see the company continuing to grow as you celebrate your 25th anniversary next year?
Wilson: Yes, very much so. We have a physical presence in half a dozen states and if you are not growing then…
Comp Blog: In a nutshell, how does the national reinsurance market look right now?
Wilson: The national market seems to be holding fairly steady with an increase in retentions and rates. The increase of presumptive conditions falling under work comp nationwide is placing pressure on the limited number of carriers in this space. Then add in medical inflation; rates and retention are increasing.
Comp Blog: What is your impression of the Louisiana reinsurance market right now?
Wilson: The legislative environment remains strong for both group and individual self-insured’s. Also, the workers’ comp statutes as they stand now are positive.
Comp Blog: Why is Midlands interested in growing their policyholder base in Louisiana?
Wilson: Louisiana has a long history of successful SIFs and many of our parish governments and school boards are self-insured. Basically, we want to use those valuable and trusted agent and broker relationships to jump start all of our other product offerings.
Comp Blog: What would you say is the “Midlands difference” in the arena of workers’ compensation?
Wilson: Our outstanding partnership with our carrier partner New York Marine and General, plus our commitment to risk and claims management to constantly keep costs down.
Comp Blog: Midlands contains a number of entities under its umbrella including: Midlands Claim Administrators in 1994, American Agency System in 1997 and Midlands Intermediaries in 2000. Where does workers’ comp fall in that entire schema?
Wilson: Excess workers’ comp has always been and will continue to be our core business.
Comp Blog: Why is Louisiana important to Midlands’ goals?
Wilson: The legislative and insurance environment here is right, and the network of trusted and professional agents is very valuable to us and furthers our ability to grow.
Comp Blog: What is your favorite thing about Louisiana culture?
Wilson: The people! From Slidell to Shreveport and Lake Charles to Monroe we have the best people…always willing to help, listen, learn – and most of importantly in this crazy business – make you laugh.
Midlands is a managing general agent with a specialty in excess workers’ compensation program administration and fee-based specialty TPA services. Charles Caldwell founded it in 1990 in Oklahoma City and originally expanded into Texas. Midlands provides a range of products and services but specializes in excess workers’ comp coverage.