On May 25, the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) released its final summary of year-end statewide results, updating a preliminary summary released April 7, 2000.
The WCIRB continues to report record-high pure loss ratios of 100 percent and great for accident years 1998 and 1999. These loss ratios produced estimated combined ratios of 142 percent for accident year 1998 and 141 percent for accident year 1999. The reported 1999 calendar year loss ratio of 95 percent, based on preliminary data, is now projected to be 98 percent, based on final year-end data.
In addition, the estimate of the inadequacy of the statewide reserve amount reported to the WCRIB fell from $4.7 billion to $4.3 billion. Listed below are some other highlights of the report:
California reported its highest premium since 1994. The Golden State’s 1999 written premium (gross of deductible credits) is $7.1 billion. This amount is 8 percent above the 1998 amount of $6.6 billion.
On 1999 policies, the average insurer charged rates 2 percent below their 1998 level (or roughly one half of average Jan. 1, 1993, rates). The average rates charged on 1999 policies are 8 percent below the approved pure premium rates.
The WCIRB projects ultimate accident year losses for 1999 to be $6.9 billion (or $0.4 billion above 1998).
The 1999 calendar year loss ratio reported by insurers is 98 percent, 10 percentage points above 1998. This is the highest ever recorded by the WCIRB.
Indemnity claim frequency in 1999 is estimated to be more than 9 percent lower than in 1998, representing the lowest frequency rate since the WCIRB began recording this information in 1989.
The WCIRB projects the average cost of a 1999 indemnity claim will be $29,657. This would be 10 percent greater than in 1998 and 63 percent greater than in 1994.
Contact the WCIRB Customer Service Department, (888) 22-WCIRB, and reference WCIRB Bulletin 2000-05, to purchase a copy of the report.
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