Insurers’ concern and attention to compliance and risk management issues dipped slightly since the fourth quarter of 2013 but remains high, new research shows.

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services unveils this finding in “Regulatory & Risk Management Indicator, U.S. Insurance Industry.” The March 2014 report surveyed nearly 300 insurers about their most pressing regulatory and risk management concerns in October 2013 and again January 2013. The study measures 10 critical factors that help illustrate the level of regulatory and risk management pressures faced by U.S. insurers.

The report’s main regulatory and risk management indicator fell to 96 from a baseline of 100 established in the fourth quarter of 2013. The report attributes the slight decline to “cyclical” state-by-state variations in enforcement actions, combined with a modest rise in confidence among insurers respecting their capacity to manage risk enterprise-wide.

“While concern and attention to compliance and risk management issues continue to grow, the Indicator reveals insurance carriers seem to be investing in more resources to address those areas.”

Compared to the fourth quarter’s baseline of 100, the report shows, most indicators connected with three broad areas measured — compliance factors, regulatory environment factors and risk management factors — show declines:

 

Compliance factors

Regulatory Environment Factors

Risk Management Factors

Tracking Regulatory Change

94

 

 

Compliance with Requirements

94

 

 

Proof to Regulators

97

 

 

Resource Investment

97

 

 

New Regulations

 

59

 

Enforcement Action

 

57

 

Fines

 

92

 

Effectiveness

 

 

89

Leadership impact

 

 

121

Resource Investment

 

 

96

The survey adds that insurers’ concerns about maintaining compliance with changing regulations dipped to 62 percent of respondents in the first quarter of 2014 from 66 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. The report observes also slight declines in respondents’ concerns with the following:

Keeping track of changing regulations (59 percent in Q1 2014 vs. 63 percent in Q4 2013)

Demonstrating compliance to regulators (58 percent vs. 60 percent); and

Managing risk across all lines of business (44 percent vs. 39 percent).