AmTrust Financial Services Inc. relinquished its position as the third-largest workers' compensation insurer in the U.S. to Zurich Insurance Group AG, according to third-quarter statutory data collected by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
AmTrust reported a year-over-year decline of 8.51% in its workers' comp line, earning $720.7 million in direct premiums in the third quarter. Its direct incurred loss ratio worsened to 65.31% during the period, owing mainly to adverse loss reserve development of $88 million in the workers' comp line, according to a third-quarter earnings call transcript.
During the earnings call, AmTrust CEO Barry Zyskind said the company's "average new workers' comp size did come down as we continued to target and quote a smaller risk," in spite of a policy renewal rate of over 93%. AmTrust had previously reported a 5.69% year-over-year decrease in its workers' comp business in the previous quarter, which was attributed to a soft pricing environment in California.
Zurich recaptured the No. 3 position even though its workers' comp business remained nearly flat compared to the year-ago quarter. While its U.S. commercial lines business showed modest growth, Zurich's consolidated worldwide gross P&C business shrank 2% year over year during the first nine months of 2017. Much of this decline took place in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
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