Insurers returning to the middle market ‘killing fields’

As you may know, I’m opposed to boring writing, in part because I have to read so much of it — some days, I feel I would sooner visit a dentist who would anesthetize me and insert fake pig tusks than read one more boring piece of prose.  So I was happy to stumble upon this piece by Matthew Brodsky, in Risk and Insurance Online.  This is some fine insurance writing, both informative and entertaining.

The middle market — insureds that pay less than $5 million in annual premiums — is where many insurers are returning in a big way, while trying to avoid premium cost-cutting to the extent it endangers financial solvency, as happened with a number of companies in the 1990s. Check out the article — a good read, well worth your time.  Here’s a taste, from the end of the story:

This contest between the copycats who provide cut-rate commoditized products and longer-term players and their added value is telling of the entire middle-market picture, not just the fringes.

In that regard, maybe the market of 2007 is not so different than previous ones. So, then, will we be back in the killing fields in no time?

"We continue to do the stupidest things, we do dumb things all the time," says Mayers.

Others are more confident. "It would take a real true level of ignorance to get as stupid as we have in the last cycles," State Auto’s Williams says.

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