Welcome to 2020, the 125th anniversary year for Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual. After a difficult 2018, we are pleased to announce that our results rebounded very strongly in 2019 from just about every financial or non-financial angle. We knew that, in 2019, it was simply critical that we execute the plans and programs that we developed in order to support a strong positive bounce from our prior year results. That goal was indeed accomplished. In fact, 2019 may go into the record books as perhaps our best year, with PLM producing a solid operating income and excellent surplus growth — both at all-time highs.
Much of our success can be attributed to the Relationship Enhancement Program we launched in the first half of the year, which included visits to most of our insureds to assist them in improving their risk management efforts. We focused almost all of our energy on our current insureds for the first seven months of the year, in some cases making difficult pricing decisions that did lead to a dip in our policyholder retention.
However, by year end, we saw the insurance market for the wood niche change dramatically. The pricing increases seen in the standard lines insurance marketplace made their way into the wood niche. Our policyholder retention soared in the latter half of the year and was at record-breaking levels in the fourth quarter.
Today, of our top six competitors, there is only one that is not either leaving the wood niche (three are) or materially reducing their commitment to the niche (two more). As a result of these changes, we have seen a groundswell in submission activity as insureds search for a carrier that can provide the commitment and expertise necessary to assist them in operating and growing their businesses profitably while standing ready to handle their claims when they occur.
After 125 years of continually serving the wood industry, our commitment to the niche has never been stronger. We continue to hone our expertise and enhance our services to best support your business as it evolves.
We continue to look forward to profitably growing our business and exploring any and all opportunities within the wood niche that we are presented with. See accompanying articles for additional insights regarding the marketplace we offer!
Should you have any questions or comments, they are as always welcome. Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-825-9246.