First Quarter 2015
I hope and trust this edition of the UH Pulse finds you well. The snow is melting, the days are getting longer, March Madness and spring training are under way — I don’t know about you but this is my absolute favorite time of year! It’s also hard to believe that we are nearing the end of the first quarter and although it’s very early in the year, we are extremely excited about our quick start to 2015.
That said, I wanted to give you a quick update on a couple key financial measures:
- Total new business YTD is up 55% compared to last year, primarily attributable to the early success of Risk Management Services, our program for customers seeking loss sensitive solutions. We have booked $11.5 million in new business consisting of $7.2 million in guaranteed cost and $4.3 million in loss sensitive through Risk Management Services so far.
- Retention started strong and remains on plan at 81%.
- Total written premium is up 4% compared to last year based primarily on strong new business and retention relative to prior.
- Although submission numbers have not rebounded as planned, we have been able to elevate our hit-to-quote ratio by 8 points and are currently writing 52% of quoted business
As you can sense, top line growth will challenge many insurance companies this year. New business writings and a sharp focus on retention will be two extremely important factors as we progress throughout the year.
Our strategy of working with agents earlier in the renewal process is proving effective. We understand that pricing accounts early and working with you, our valued agent partners, to prevent the need to shop around a renewal is a very productive retention tool. We also understand the importance for the collective group (agency, policyholder, UH) to get together and talk through shared service strategies, initiatives and successes. In an effort to maximize this partnership, we will be requesting Service Impact Reviews on accounts over $400,000 and any loss sensitive insured.
These reviews will give Claims, Loss Control and Underwriting in unison with you, our agents, an opportunity to get in front of key decision makers at the account to discuss the overall workers’ compensation program and all the key service initiatives which have been executed. We appreciate these opportunities to get in front of the customer, so thanks in advance for your help with these key initiatives and the implementation of our strategies for 2015.
Vice President, Field Operations
At United Heartland, our valued agency partners are vital to our success. With these partnerships, we have achieved great success for more than 20 years. To acknowledge the role that these agencies play, United Heartland will begin to honor our most high-performing agency of each year with an Agency of the Year award. For 2014, we are pleased to announce that LMC Insurance & Risk Management is our inaugural award winner.
“During 2014, the Chicago region achieved tremendous profitable growth with LMC with health care accounts in Iowa and Nebraska and in manufacturing,” said Chicago Regional Director Steve Zajc. “Not only that but LMC promotes and educates its producers about our distinctive approach to workers’ compensation so that they can be confident when selling our product. As an example, one of their younger producers wrote a manufacturing account with us that was just shy of $950,000. The agency has helped us grow significantly and is a true partner in every way.”
On a performance basis, LMC’s numbers with United Heartland are impressive:
- $14.9 million in written premium for 2014, with $8.4 million of that written as new business
- 47.7% loss ratio for 2014 calendar year
- 59.3% hit ratio on submitted new business
- 81.6% premium retention
“We truly value the relationship that we’ve developed with LMC over the last few years,” said Stephan Cooper, president of United Heartland. “We appreciate their commitment to understanding and selling the UH Difference to their customers, which includes our high-touch service model, superior claims management and loss control expertise. They are most deserving of being named our first 2014 Agency of the Year.”
Thanks to LMC Insurance & Risk Management for their dedication to excellence and success in 2014.
Profitability Continues with New Business Growth: 2014 was the Chicago region’s biggest year so far for new business with $17.3 million written. It was distributed well throughout the region with about $7 million written in Iowa, more than $4 million a piece written in Indiana and Illinois and about $2 million written in Nebraska. The region also continues to experience success across all business segments with health care, social services and manufacturing continuing to be strong performers. To see an overview of the business written in the Chicago region for 2014, please see this flier.
Agent Partnership Brings Big Success: Sometimes, a match just makes sense. United Heartland appointed Hylant-Fort Wayne in November 2013 anticipating that there would be a good fit between our appetite and Hylant’s areas of focus, particularly in social service and health care segments. Soon after their appointment, we wrote a hospital account with Hylant and in 2014, things only improved as we wrote six accounts for more than $2 million in very profitable new business. Thanks to Hylant producer Nikki Galbraith , who wrote most of this business as she quickly realized the value of our service and was able to convey the importance of the “UH Difference” in the sales process.
One Manufacturer’s Impressive Turnaround: One of our accounts in the Chicago region, a manufacturer of corrugated displays and boxes, has been with us since 2006. After making much progress with safety improvements, a string of larger claims in 2010 derailed our efforts and led to consecutive unprofitable years. Rather than ending the relationship, we continued our efforts at returning them to their former profitability under the direction of Loss Control Consultant Jeff Marks. With the assistance of a new safety director at the organization, Jeff focused on machine-related injuries, which had driven past losses. Initiatives implemented included updating their lockout/tagout programs and completing a comprehensive machine guarding evaluation. Because of the account’s renewed commitment to safety at all levels, there was a heightened awareness of the importance of proper machine guarding. This awareness, as well as other positive changes, led to an incredible turnaround for the account, which has maintained a 15% loss ratio since November 2012. It’s a clear example of how our loss control expertise coupled with an account’s commitment to safety can bring about stellar results.
Like many of our valued agent partners, United Heartland is eager to find new ways to write new business. For agencies with newer producers, it can be a challenge to bring these hires up to speed on how to understand and sell industry segments. To bridge this gap, United Heartland recently invited three new producers from Arthur J. Gallagher to our Milwaukee headquarters and provided an intensive training session focused on the long-term care industry and the ways in which our expertise in this segment helps our customers thrive and stay safe.
The new producers sat side-by-side with members of UH’s underwriting, claims and loss control teams and got a crash course in the long-term care discipline and what we look for when writing new business in this segment. They participated in our virtual dementia tour, attempted transfers with our safe patient handling and mobility equipment and were educated on the terminology used by those in the long-term care field.
The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive with one participant saying: “(The session) was educational and provided us with much good information to use in our prospecting. Each and every one of you brought value to the table.” Another said: “For your first time bringing that type of training to your external partners, it was a glowing success. Everything from the content to the timekeeping was executed perfectly.”
“We were very pleased with how this training went,” said Tracy Bain, regional director for United Heartland’s Milwaukee region. “This experience will help these new producers talk to buyers with confidence and have more credibility because they better understand this particular segment. We look forward to working with other agencies in helping their young producers learn about all the industry segments we specialize in and not only grow new new business for their organization but United Heartland as well.”
If your agency has new producers that might be interested in this type of intensive training in one of our business segments, please contact your United Heartland representative.
United Heartland continues to grow and thrive as an insurance leader by listening to feedback from our customers. This information helps ensure that our strategies remain aligned with the outcomes and work comp solutions our customers seek.
One way we gather this feedback is through our annual customer satisfaction survey. Here are some of the key results from the most recent survey in November:
- Customers’ overall satisfaction with United Heartland (those responding either highly satisfied or satisfied) increased 2 percentage points to 97.2%. On a five-point scale, we earned a 4.54 for overall satisfaction, the highest score we’ve received over the last four years.
- 91.5% of customers strongly agreed or agreed that UH’s Claims staff “delivers high-quality outcomes for your injured workers and your business.”
- 94.8% of customers were highly satisfied or satisfied with our claims handling services and 88.2% were highly satisfied or satisfied with our loss control services.
- On a five-point scale, we earned a 4.47 for customers’ “likelihood to recommend UH,” a 2% increase from 2013.
We also appreciated the positive comments we received including:
- “Keep doing what you are doing … I have not experienced this type of customer service in years.”
- “We appreciate the timely handling of claims, and working to close these claims as soon as possible.
- “The interactions I have had with Claims representatives and causation specialists have been helpful. Each interaction has been informative and they go out of their way to help me better understand the process.”
- “We have had great success controlling costs by partnering with the United Heartland team. They are very knowledgeable.”
We appreciate those customers who participated in our satisfaction survey. Please encourage your customers to contact their United Heartland representative at any time with comments or concerns to ensure we are delivering them the highest level of service possible.
2014 was a year of successes for United Heartland and the Accident Fund Holdings Enterprise. Our valued agent partnerships played a key role in helping us achieve greatness. To see how the Enterprise and each of its brands performed, we encourage you to review the 2014 Accident Fund Holdings’ Annual Report now available online.
You’ll find 2014 financial performance information for each brand, notable highlights from the past year and details on the many ways the Enterprise gave back to the communities where our many employees work and live. For more details about the holding company, visit AccidentFundHoldings.com.
United Heartland has been advised that the required North Carolina posting notices (both English and Spanish versions), Form 17, have been amended to include a line for:
- Insurance company name
- Insurance policy number
- Policy effective and expiration dates
You can download and distribute copies of the notices to impacted policyholders via the links below.
- NC Posting Notice, Form 17 (English)
- NC Posting Notice, Form 17 (Spanish)