The Association is nearing the halfway point of the 2018/19 Membership Year (“MY”) and its full steam ahead! Reported payroll continues to grow and we are on track for our biggest MY ever. So far, six new Members have joined the Association with more in the pipeline. While growth is a good thing, the great news is that despite increased exposure, claim incident rates have remained flat. There is still a lot of work to be done to drive accidents out of the industry and together we are really working on it. Two new safety initiatives filtered through the Safety Committee have been launched and the early results are very encouraging. A full report on these exciting new programs will be provided at the Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) in August.
Speaking of the Membership meetings, we had a record turn-out at the January General Membership Meeting (“GM”) in Florida with over 500 attendees. I encourage you to make a special effort to attend the AGM meeting in Bermuda - let’s beat this number! We have not been to Bermuda for three years and it will good to be back. It is a warm, safe and friendly place where they are always happy to see us. I never forget that over thirty-five years ago in a small office in Bermuda, two people who became our first Members took a leap of faith to sign on the dotted line to start what has grown into an Association that is the envy of the entire Longshore insurance industry. That took quite some guts and vision.
In February Tony Filiato and I traveled to Washington, D.C. with Chairman Tom Godfrey to meet with the DOL for our annual stewardship meeting. We were delighted to have the new OWCP Director Julia Hearthway join us. Ms. Hearthway is the most senior official at the OWCP responsible for Federal workers’ compensation programs including Longshore. Her remarks regarding the Association were extremely positive and she was most complimentary. She thanked us for our work and support. The close working relationship the Association enjoys with the DOL is a win-win for all parties.
The Association’s new adjusting company, Sage Adjusting LLC, has just completed its first quarter of operations and the results are impressive. Adjusting costs are down and file closure rates are up.
It has been a very odd winter for weather. One minute the sun is out with record highs and then someone opens the fridge door and we are frozen solid. The south has seen snow, the mid-west has experienced devasting tornados, we have had only one serious snowstorm in Wilton and the West Coast just cannot seem to win. Thankfully spring is just around the corner! As we enter the second half of the MY, we are very excited about what we can all achieve together. As always, the focus remains on the safety, health and well-being of your employees. Together let’s make the right things happen.
Live well and stay safe!
Richard W. Wood
President & CEO
At Signal, we pride ourselves in having a close personal working relationship and partnership with all our Members. We are committed to getting to know each and every one of you. At the heart of this commitment, are the two Membership meetings held in winter and summer each year. These business meetings are carefully designed and structured to give every Member an opportunity to fully understand the complete workings of their Mutual, to follow the finances, and to get acquainted with the entire Board of Directors, management team, and fellow Members.
At these informative and wonderful events, we see many old friends and colleagues, and their families. We know that for many Members these meetings can represent a considerable commitment of time and expense, but I believe it is time and expense very well spent. If you have yet to attend a Signal membership meeting, I strongly encourage you to consider joining your fellow Members and the management team. For 2019, the January meeting will be held in Florida and the August meeting in Bermuda.
Signal is the number one provider of Longshore workers’ compensation in the country for a reason – the strength and quality of the Membership. Signal is not an insurance company – it is a Club, your Club.
We look forward to seeing you at the next Membership meeting.
Richard W. Wood
President & CEO
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
August 1-3, 2019
The Fairmont Southampton
To make room reservations at The Fairmont Southampton click here
The Signal Underwriting team is pleased to report on a successful 2018/19 Membership Year renewal. Despite an increasingly competitive USL&H insurance marketplace, the Association maintained an excellent Member retention ratio, an all-time high in projected payroll, and the 16th consecutive year of average cost reduction to the membership. The Underwriters conducted 172 in-person renewal meetings during August and September representing more than 70% of the membership and still found the time to quote and bind four significant new Members at October 1st. The good news extended to our reinsurance program which was renewed at an 8% rate decrease with improved breadth in coverage terms despite a less flexible London reinsurance market. Here are the headline 2018/19 MY renewal statistics:
98.7% Member retention ratio
$4.35 billion projected payroll, +6.2% increase over the 2017/18 projected payroll
$209 million projected Call
4.80% average rate, a 1.7% decrease versus prior year
10.60% preliminary Supplementary Call estimate
I want to personally extend my thanks to the Underwriting, MSR, Claims and Safety teams. Your work ethic and teamwork are inspiring and produced the excellent result that Members and the Association have come to expect.
We are all grateful to the Signal Mutual Membership who make this Club such a uniquely successful organization. We are looking forward to seeing you and your families at the 2019 meetings. More details of the recent renewal will be provided at the upcoming General Meeting in January, and we encourage Members to take advantage of Underwriter’s Office Hours and schedule an appointment to share feedback, ask questions or even start discussing next year’s renewal!
Executive Vice President &
Chief Underwriting Officer
Signal Mutual Indemnity Association Ltd was established in January 1986 to meet the demands of the stevedoring industry for reasonable and stable workers' compensation insurance rates, and quickly became the premier Longshore mutual in the United States.
The Membership of the Association is drawn from a broad range of employers throughout the country in the stevedoring, shipbuilding/ship repair, marine construction, professional/technical and offshore industries with reported Longshore payrolls over $4.00 billion representing over 250 companies.
The business of the Association, including membership selection, underwriting, safety resources, claims management, actuarial, regulatory requirements and financial risk management is performed by the Association's Managers, Charles Taylor (Hamilton). The day to day responsibility for these operations has been delegated to Charles Taylor's affiliate, Signal Administration, with offices in Dallas Texas, Wilton Connecticut, and Long Beach California.