Latest Studies

Quarterly insurtech briefing Q4 2018
Willis Towers Watson;
February 25, 2019

In Q4 2018 there were 63 insurtech deals with a total value of $1.6 billion were announced worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2018. The number of deals was up 24 percent, and the value was up 155 percent over Q4 2017. The total, including all-stage investments in property/casualty and life/health ventures, is the second-highest ever behind the second quarter of 2015. The report focuses on cyber insurtech with the goal of understanding the appropriateness of the tools used by insurtechs and incumbent insurance businesses to price cyberrisk and provide solutions in the aftermath of an attack. Full report

Trends in auto injury claims, 2019 edition
Insurance Research Council;
February 18, 2019

A rise in the severity of auto injury claims is increasing costs for insurers and creating upward pressure on the cost of coverage for consumers, according to a new study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC). However, claim frequency trends remain unclear, as enhanced safety features, increased driving, and other factors combine to produce relatively small net changes. This report documents both countrywide and state auto injury claim trends using private passenger auto insurance claim data from national and state-level statistical reporting agencies. From 2008 through 2017, the average insurer payment per insured vehicle (loss costs) countrywide grew 31 percent for bodily injury (BI) claims and 26 percent for personal injury protection (PIP) no-fault claims. On an annualized basis, BI and PIP loss costs grew 3.1 and 2.6 percent per year, respectively. During the same period, inflation averaged under 2 percent. From 2008 through 2017, of the countrywide BI claim frequency fluctuated between 0.80 and 0.83 paid claims per 100 insured vehicles. Countrywide PIP claim frequency fell slightly, from 1.31 to 1.27 claims per 100 insured vehicles. Some states experienced significant increases in claim frequency, including Florida and Georgia, where BI claim frequency increased 33 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Florida also experienced a significant increase in PIP claim frequency (10 percent) from 2008 through 2017. For more detailed information on the study’s methodology and findings, contact David Corum at (484) 831-9046 or by email at To obtain a copy of the study, visit IRC’s website at

Workers compensation insurance as good as it gets—2019
February 08, 2019

Calendar-year workers compensation insurance results in 2015-2018 are poised to be their most profitable in half a century. In 2015-2017, combined ratio averaged 94.4 percent. Why have workers compensation results been so favorable, and why has loss frequency decreased so dramatically? The conventional wisdom is that improvements in workplace safety are largely responsible, however this study identifies nine additional factors that converged in recent years, each providing tailwinds to the industry. External factors expected to affect the industry in the medium term include growing labor shortages in key economic sectors; new immigration patterns; an aging and less healthy workforce growth in the gig economy; and cutbacks in safety and job training at many employers. Other factors include rising medical costs and higher catastrophic claim survivability. The study also examines the work-related implications of technology-driven labor displacement from robotics, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. The study is available for purchase from Conning by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting

From art to science: The future of underwriting in commercial P/C insurance
Ari Chester, Susanne Ebert, Seven Kauderer and Christie McNeill
February 01, 2019

Underwriting excellence continues to be the most important factor in the performance of commercial property/casualty (P/C) insurers, according to this report. Recent research from McKinsey looked closely at leading P/C companies that focused on commercial policies over the last three decades and found that operating results have the greatest effect on overall financial performance, an impact that is greater than capital leverage or investment returns on the bottom line. The study also showed that loss ratios lead to more volatility than expenses in operating results. Comparing top and bottom U.S. and U.K. performers, the analysis found loss ratios that varied by as much as 28 percentage points while expenses varied by only 2 to 4 points. The article identifies five essential building blocks for commercial insurance underwriting: the steering of portfolios, adequacy in pricing, careful risk selection, optimization of capacity and design of coverage. Full report

Sextortion and the dark side of the web
Beazley Breach Insights;
February 01, 2019

This 2-page report from Beazley Breach Response (BBR) Services warns businesses that they could be targeted by a new form of online bribery referred to as sextortion, which involves cybercriminals demanding cryptocurrency to have potentially embarrassing evidence of work computers being used to visit adult websites removed. Beazley explains that sextortion incidents usually begin with an email claiming that the recipient’s work computer has been accessed and the sender has tracked the addresses of pornographic websites viewed on the device. According to Beazley, all incidents of sextortion so far have been hoaxes and generally have not led to any data being compromised. However, Beazley warns that a small number of emails sent to thousands of recipients could make employees who make inappropriate use of their work computers vulnerable to extortion. Full report

Cyber attack inevitability: The threat small & midsized businesses cannot ignore
Bill Stewart and Dave Charlton
January 31, 2019

This report concludes that businesses pay an average of $400,000 to recover after a cyberattack, costs that could cause small-and-medium-sized companies (SMEs) to collapse. Chubb cited FBI data and said that cyberattacks happen at a rate of 4,000 per day since the beginning of 2016 and that the costs of restoring the business and its reputation have risen because the frequency of attacks has increased. The insurer warned that many SMEs may not be convinced that they could be targets of cyberattacks since such attacks on SMEs are generally not reported by the media. In the report, Chubb provides details of stolen email accounts, ransomware scams, phishing scams and computer thefts perpetrated against SMEs by cybercriminals. Chubb also recommended seven preventive measures that SMEs could take to protect themselves from cyber incidents. Full report

Commercial Insurance Pricing Increased in Fourth Quarter 2018
February 26, 2019

A new report from Marsh indicates that the pricing of commercial insurance increased in the fourth quarter, the fifth consecutive quarter of higher prices in the sector. According to Marsh’s Global Insurance Market Index, average commercial insurance prices increased by 2 percent in the fourth quarter, the largest increase since Marsh’s first survey and the fifth consecutive average increase. The fourth quarter was the first in which composite pricing increased in all global regions. The largest price increases were reported in the Pacific region, where prices rose more than 10 percent. Property risk pricing increased by an average of nearly 4 percent globally, while casualty prices declined by an average of nearly 1 percent. Average pricing on financial and professional lines were higher in all regions around the world. Full report.