The Builders Group Industry Insights
The Builders Group (TBG), held its annual meeting May 24th and shared insights into the challenges our industry has faced over the past several years and its gradually improving health. Stu Thompson, CEO of TBG, reported that in 2011, industry payrolls of participating members increased an impressive 18 percent. In addition, reported premium increased 17 percent, a positive sign for TBG. In sharing more good news, Thompson said new members grew by 89, an increase of 14%. That is welcome news after two very difficult years in 2009 and 2010.
During recessionary times, claims generally rise, and such was the case during the dark years of 2009 and 2010. Payrolls and premiums decreased by as much as 40% during these years, while claim counts and severity increased. One major issue was the lack of light duty jobs to return injured workers to the job. "The 2009 and 2010 years will likely go down as some of the worst ever due to the economic conditions during those years," Thompson wrote in his financial report to the Board. And making the situation worse, even as claims were rising, investment income was dropping substantially.
In sharing more positive news about 2011, Thompson reported that incurred losses decreased 5.6 percent, and claim severity decreased 18.8 percent. "So far, we have survived the worst economic slowdown since the Great Depression without having to assess our members," said Thompson, adding, "that has not been the case with construction funds in other states." TBG was formed in 1997 by BATC, BAM, and The Builders Exchanges of St. Paul and Minneapolis, to offer stable, long-term workers' compensation program for the construction industry of Minnesota with a focus on association membership. TBG has a renewal rate of 97%, which speaks loudly to its success. In part that is because its board of directors is comprised of leading individuals from our industry.
TBG is known for its excellent service and aggressive claims handling (it has a higher ratio of claims representatives to cases than other insurance programs). It's also widely touted for its pay-as-you-go premium opportunity (which virtually eliminates dreaded end-of-year audits). If you are interested in the TBG program, more information can be found at www.tbgmn.com.