PHIL’S CORNER: Unexpected Reasons I’m Thankful for 2020
Phil’s Corner is a special column from OAMIC’s President & CEO Phil Fraim.
You know, I started to say, “Thank you for 2020,” but man did I have to quickly rephrase that one! No doubt we are strengthened by adversity, but I have serious doubts anyone was sad to see 2020 sail on by. The most difficult part was not being able to predict when it might all get back to normal – whatever that might be. A new normal for sure but maybe we are at least seeing that, even if still down the road a way in 2021.
I do want to say thank you, however. Our policyholders’ persistency and finding ways to continue providing legal services and assist your clients was a testimony for us at OAMIC. Your efforts motivated us to do the same for you. Our office was open every day, not always with full staff but enough to keep the wheels turning for you.
Early in the pandemic we were required by regulatory authorities to complete a financial forecast, predicting the impact of the pandemic on business plans, cash flow, impact on our insured profile and how it might affect overall ratios. I have to admit, my crystal ball was way too fuzzy last April, and it almost made me chuckle to even make the attempt. In an effort to be conservative, I forecast a 10% drop in the number of insureds and a 5% drop in written premium. Actual results show less than a 2% decrease in insured count and a 4% increase in premiums. Many of those who are no longer insured took the opportunity to retire. Again, thanks for hanging in there and continuing the good fight.
We can all consider 2020 to be a weird one, and it looks like even our financial results will show that as well. Our results appear to be so good from a claims standpoint that there is no way to bet on a repeat performance. Claim frequency (number of claims), which were already very low the past few years, dropped a decent amount last year. Claim severity (size of claims) decreased last year as well, and that was a very welcome result since that has not been the case in the past four or five years. We needed to move the opposite direction in severity, and we did.
The great question is, “Can we consider 2020 numbers to be credible?” They are certainly better than 2018 and 2019. Then again, based upon historical data, it was time to have a year or two of better results. At the end of the day, we will take it and be thankful, and we’re ready to deal with whatever 2021 has in store!
We will have more details of 2020 results in our Annual Report, which we will share in a couple of months. Thank you for your loyalty and your support of OAMIC. As always, please contact us if you need anything.