October 11th, 2012

Why Did Carriers Release More Reserves in 2011 than in 2010?

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

leong_jessica_gcci2Jessica Leong, Lead Casualty Specialty Actuary

As demonstrated in Figure 1, carriers released more reserves in 2011 than in 2010. This was in contrast to the general expectation for reserve releases to taper off from their peak in 2008. By analyzing the data closely, it becomes apparent that much of the 2011 calendar year redundancy was from the general liability - claims occurring line of business, shown in FigureĀ 2 (the dotted lines again represent the movement in 2011). Accident years 2008 and 2009 for the general liability - claims occurring line show an unexpected downward turn in 2011, indicating more reserve releases than expected. This is similar to the downward turn for accident year 1992 in 1995.

Figure 1


Figure 2


However, other lines of business did not fare so well. FigureĀ 3 shows that the workers compensation line saw accelerated reserve deterioration in 2011.

Figure 3


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