Additionally, because of the support of our larger enterprise, AF Group, we are able to keep a tight focus on our niche markets while reaping the benefits of an enterprise that is committed to innovation and excellence. A few examples of this excellence include:
- AF Group’s “A-” (Excellent) A.M. Best rating with a stable outlook, Financial Size Category XI.
- AF Group being named a Best Places to Work in Insurance by Business Insurance magazine for a sixth year in a row and placing second within the large employer category and third among all insurers.
- AF Group earning a position on A.M. Best’s list of Top 25 Workers’ Compensation Carriers in the U.S.
- AF Group partnering with researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to produce what they believe is the first scientific proof that consistently applied treatment guidelines are effective in treating injured workers. More on this study here.
In turn, 3CU continues to expand its reach as a regional carrier:
- 3CU grew 14.7% in 2015, while exceeding growth in new regions by 12%.
- Our agency appointment strategy continues to be a success with 34% of new business premium coming from new relationships.
This ability to develop and foster strong agent partnerships will remain critical to our long-term success. As marketplace competition grows, we rely on your ability to sell 3CU’s value proposition: a commitment to deliver on our promises and to deliver unique workers’ compensation solutions to those with complex needs. We look forward to working with you to write profitable business across all our segments and are eager to partner with you in creative ways so that we can find mutual success this year and beyond.
Thank you for your support and continued partnership!
Vice President, Production and Agency Management
Third Coast Underwriters
At Third Coast Underwriters (3CU), our customers are our top priority. Because we specialize in addressing complex operations and challenging exposures, we know the importance of developing unique workers’ compensation solutions. The list below illustrates the specialty accounts we have written recently within our core segments. Let us help you deliver successful outcomes for your customers today. For more information, visit 3CU.com, emailinfo@3CU.com or call 866-641-2328.
In the Dec. 14 edition of Risk & Insurance, AF Group experts Dr. Dan Hunt, Jeff White and Jack Tower discuss research that shows how workers’ compensation claims that follow evidence-based medicine guidelines have shorter duration and lower medical costs. Read thefull article to learn more.
With more than 100 years in workers’ compensation, our organization has experienced tremendous growth and success with our agent partners. To reflect our trajectory and continued expansion plans, we feel this is the right time to shift our holding company brand. Therefore, effective March 1, 2016, Accident Fund Holdings became AF Group.
AF Group and its four brands (Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, United Heartland, CompWest and Third Coast Underwriters) have become a notable force in the workers’ compensation industry. Although our holding company name is new, we will protect our core work comp business and the relationships we’ve built with you, our trusted agency partners. Each brand will continue to focus on their specific niche and region, but will be presented new opportunities for growth and diversification.
The rebranded name, AF Group, demonstrates our longevity in the industry and the strength that the collaboration of our brands offers to agents and customers. As we consider new lines at a national and global level, our new identity will make us more marketable for diversification. Rest assured, there will be no impact to our day-to-day operations from your perspective. The quality of products and services you’ve come to expect from our enterprise will not suffer; in fact, they will likely be enhanced as a result of our growth.
We look forward to growing with you — and celebrating future successes together. Thank you for your support and continued partnership — and welcome to AF Group! For more information, visit www.afgroupinsurance.com.
From opioid abuse to rising medical costs to attacks on the industry’s “grand bargain” and other legislation, the workers’ compensation system in the United States is facing its share of challenges. Best’s Review asked a panel of experts from across the industry to weigh in on some of the main issues facing the market. AF Group CEO Liz Haar participated in a roundtable discussion here and was featured in a story about the stressors facing the workers’ compensation market here.
A.M. Best has affirmed the financial rating of AF Group, and its brand Third Coast Underwriters, as “A-“ (Excellent) with a stable outlook. A global credit rating agency, A.M. Best provides news, credit ratings and financial data products and services for the insurance industry.
“Solid financial strength and top-tier service continue to be the focus of AF Group,” said Liz Haar, CEO of AF Group. “We are committed to providing superior workers’ compensation products and services to our agent partners and policyholders throughout the country. This announcement reflects A.M. Best’s recognition of our efforts and performance. Our success has been made possible through the ongoing commitment to excellence of our employees and agent partners.”
In a statement announcing the reaffirmed financial rating, A.M. Best noted, “…the ratings reflect the group’s solid risk-adjusted capitalization and improved underwriting performance.” Among other attributes, A.M. Best credited the “A-“ (Excellent) rating to AF Group’s expertise within the workers’ compensation marketplace and its utilization of sophisticated predictive analytic modeling tools and medical cost containment practices and initiatives.
2015 was a year of successes for Third Coast Underwriters and AF Group. 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 the2015 AF Group Annual Report, now available online.
You’ll find 2015 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 www.afgroupinsurance.com.
Legislative opt-out proposals in Tennessee and South Carolina have not received sufficient support this year to gain momentum. Although AF Group legislative opposition has been successful to date, we anticipate renewed 2017 challenges by proponents in Tennessee, South Carolina and perhaps other states as well. Aside from individual state challenges, opt-out feeds into a negative narrative of the states capability to administer the workers’ compensation system and encourages an argument for federal standards or federal supervision of some kind. AF Group Government Affairs will continue to work with industry partners to oppose opt-out initiatives wherever they arise.
Federal – Opioid Guidelines
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has published its long-awaited guidelines for opioid prescribing, further increasing the war on opioid abuse. The publishing of these guidelines, “CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain,” clearly demonstrate that, when not managed appropriately, the prescribing of opioids can carry substantial risk and generate uncertain outcomes. The CDC guidelines are geared toward primary care providers who are treating patients with chronic pain not related to cancer or dying. The CDC communicated the guidelines include 12 recommendations based on three key principles:
- Non-opioid therapy is preferred for chronic pain outside of active cancer, palliative and end-of-life care.
- When opioids are used, the lowest possible effective dosage should be prescribed to reduce risks of opioid use disorder and overdose.
- Providers should always exercise caution when prescribing opioids and monitor all patients closely.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) legislation, HB 1892, has passed the House on an 87-66 vote and next proceeds to the State Senate. The Senate has yet to consider the proposal due to the strong opposition lobbying efforts from privacy rights’ interests. While Missouri remains the only state without a prescription monitoring law, St. Louis County is undertaking an independent initiative to establish a county based PDMP. We’ll continue to monitor this situation.
Workers’ compensation medical fee schedule legislation (HB 378/SB 631) has been successfully enacted this year. The law requires the Workers’ Compensation Commission to develop the fee schedule in consultation with an actuarial firm and a 10-member advisory panel, to which AF Group national trade partner the American Insurance Association (AIA) has already been named. While the legislation does not specifically require the fee schedule to be based on Medicare, we anticipate it will increase treatment efficiencies, provide cost savings, as well as greater certainty in the development of loss costs. The industry will work to achieve these objectives in the implementation process.