For the ALPS underwriters, 2011 proved to be a very interesting year. As in years past, we experienced new carriers entering some of the states where we do business, while other carriers left some of those same states due to adverse claims developments. Competition remained fierce throughout the year even though claims frequency and defense costs appeared to be climbing industry-wide. Predictions of a hardening of the insurance market were heard more often, however the market remained soft. Overall our continued coverage premium remained strong and the acquisition of new policy premium was successful.
ALPS has a strong advantage because of our esteemed underwriting staff. Comprised of eight seasoned and experienced professional liability insurance underwriters, the team’s combined average experience in the insurance industry is fifteen years and their average tenure with ALPS is ten years. Four of our underwriters hold the designation of Registered Professional Liability Underwriter and one holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation.
This year, the underwriters and account representatives worked closely together to make sure they more clearly understood each other’s perspectives regarding the risks being presented to ALPS. Being a direct writer, we work in close proximity with one another and the exchange of information can happen with just a few steps down the hallway. The same holds true with our claims department. Underwriting and claims actively share information about emerging trends in the insurance industry. Since an underwriter’s first focus is the analysis of risk, we are fortunate to have so many resources right here in our own office.
Toward the end of 2011, ALPS underwent our biennial independent actuarial analysis to ensure that our rating factors adequately reflect the risks presented to us. Various modifications were suggested during this year’s review and many of those suggestions were accepted by ALPS. These modifications will enable us to remain diligent as we continue to appropriately evaluate and price the risks we are presented with in the coming year. It will also allow us to remain a stable, strong and a viable option for our current and future policyholders. We’re just a few months into 2012 and it has already proved to be another interesting and challenging year. We look forward to the opportunities those challenges will bring us.