The National Structured Settlement Trade Association (NSSTA), in partnership with CLM Advisors, has recently completed a three-part structured settlement survey project of senior claims executives (Part 1), claims professionals (Part 2) and plaintiff attorneys (Part 3) the results of which provide NSSTA members with marketing tools for discussions with the audiences surveyed.
Complementing NSSTA's surveys, NSSTA member and structured settlement provider Prudential recently published the results of its own 2013 survey of 400 claimants who had entered into a settlement of a physical injury or workers’ compensation claim of at least $100,000 from 2003 to 2013.
Considered together, these four surveys provide valuable insights into how key stakeholders currently view the structured settlement market. They also provide a point of reference for, and comparison with, other structured settlement market surveys several of which have been completed or updated since S2KM published this previous blog post in November 2008.
What follows are brief summaries of prior structured settlement surveys. In subsequent blog posts, S2KM will review and evaluate the most recent NSSTA and Prudential surveys.
- NSSTA 2006: Survey of Plaintiff Attorneys and Structured Settlement Recipients - This NSSTA-sponsored survey was titled: "A Study of the Structured Settlement Process Conducted on behalf of the National Structured Settlement Trade Association" and was directed by Robert E. Hoyt, the Dudley L. Moore, Jr. Chair of Insurance at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. It consisted of attorneys involved in structured settlements (43 telephone surveys) and structured settlement recipients (1275 telephone and Internet surveys). Among the reported results:
- Only 7% of personal injury settlements between $75,000 and $100,000 include structured settlements; and only 30% of personal injury settlements above $1 million included structured settlements.
- When asked: "Whom do you prefer to use for purposes of financial planning for your clients?" , surveyed attorneys responded: trust company/department - 30%; Financial planner - 28%; Structured settlement consultant - 23%; No response - 19%.
- American General 2007: Survey about Structured Settlement Public Awareness - Sponsored by AIG American General and conducted by Esearch.com, Inc. in September 2007, this survey included 1000 U.S. participants - 80% had no connection with any personal injury case; 20% had previously been involved directly or indirectly through a family member in a personal injury case. Respondents who had no connection to a personal injury case were asked to read two hypothetical scenarios and answer questions on how they would react.Those with a direct connection to a personal injury case were not only asked to read the hypothetical scenarios, but also to answer questions based upon their real life experience. AIG's conclusion: the structured settlement industry needs to better educate Americans about structured settlements.
- J.G. Wentworth 2008: Survey of Structured Settlement Recipients - The survey consisted of 115 structured settlement recipients who had previously sold payment rights to J.G. Wentworth. The survey questions addressed both primary and secondary market issues, focusing upon the reasons the respondents: 1) first agreed to a structured settlement; and 2) then subsequently sold (transferred) some or all of their structured settlement payment rights. S2KM's prior reporting about the survey's primary market questions, responses plus related S2KM comments appears here. S2KM's prior reporting about the survey's secondary market questions, responses plus related S2KM comments appears here.
- Jeremy Babener 2009: Dissipation Legal Research Paper - Titled "Justifying the Structured Settlement Tax Subsidy: The Use of Lump Sum Settlements," this paper examines and challenges the myth of the squandering injury victim. In it, Babener refutes the existence of any published study supporting the statistic that "90% of lump sum recipients dissipate their recoveries within five years" and identifies 12 existing dissipation studies relevant to structured settlements that reach a contradictory conclusion: injury victims have no greater propensity to dissipate money than non-injury victims.
- Towers Watson 2011: "Update of U.S. Tort Cost Trends" - The 2011 update represents the 15th study of U.S. tort costs, and the most recently published, by Towers Watson. Note: a Tower Watson representative has informed S2KM it has no current plans to publish further updates. The 2011 study reported $264.6 billion of 2010 U.S. tort costs and excluded: 1) no-fault auto insurance; 2) property coverages; 3) workers compensation; 4) certain extraordinary (one time) costs. Tower Watson's 2002 study had previously translated overall tort costs in 2001 into these additional cost categories and percentages: 1) administrative costs - 21%; 2) defense costs - 14%; 3) plaintiff attorneys -19%; 4) economic loss - 22%; and 5) non-economic loss - 24%. Based on the 2011 study and utilizing Tower Watson's 2002 "best estimate" of payout percentages, S2KM has estimated that since 2011 more than $170 billion of United States tort costs annually have represented payments to injury victims and their attorneys.
- Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) 2011: "National Litigation Management Study" - This survey of litigation management executives analyzed 30 litigation-related service areas including structured settlements. Commissioned by CLM (formerly the Council on Litigation Management ) and conducted by Revere Advisory, it identified structured settlement as the "most penetrated external initiative" among 30 litigation-related service areas analyzed based upon interviews with leading litigation management executives. CLM membership includes: corporations, insurance companies, government agencies, defense attorneys and law firms plus individuals "who participate in litigation and the management thereof (Corporate Counsel; Risk, Claims and Litigation Managers; Adjusters and Service Providers etc.)."
- Daniel Durbin 2013: Survey of Structured Settlement Brokers - Durbin, a former NSSTA President and Senior Structured Settlement Sales Manager with Allstate Life, conducted an informal survey with a group of leading structured settlement brokers to obtain their input and evaluate their interest in representing a potential new structured settlement product provider. Durbin identified himself as part of an investor group of individuals including insurance executives who see underdeveloped opportunities in the structured settlement primary market. Although Durbin has not published the results of his survey, he has presented to several industry groups and stated that the survey showed the interest is high as long as the new firm is financially strong with competitive rates.
- Melissa Evola Price 2002-2015: Quarterly Reports of NSSTA Member Structured Settlement Annuity Provider Sales - Melissa Evola Price's quarterly structured settlement report, selectively distributed to NSSTA members, is now copyrighted by her company, Structured Financial Associates, Inc. (SFA). Price and SFA have granted S2KM permission to publish selected portions of her report on both S2KM's blog ("Beyond Structured Settlements") and the structured settlement wiki. Her reports include historical data from 1975-2001 which is sourced with permission from "Structured Settlements and Periodic Payment Judgments" (S2P2J). Evola Price most recently reported 2015 first quarter structured settlement annuity premium of $1,332,047,252, an increase of more than $230 million (21%) compared with the 2014 first quarter structured settlement annuity premium of $1,101,839,529.