Calif. Cost Per Workers’ Comp Claim Rising, CWCI Says

The number of California workers’ compensation insurance claims fell 13 percent between policy years 2007 and 2008 to 358,077 claims. However, a new report by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau shows that the average incurred loss on a claim 18 months after policy inception rose more than 11 percent in the same period, with the average incurred loss at $9,711.

WICRB’s first report shows that since bottoming out in PY 2005, average first report incurred losses (paid benefits plus reserves for future payments) per California workers’ compensation claim have been rising.

A report by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute that analyzed the WCIRB data showed that despite the increase in the average incurred loss per claim, the declining volume of claims pushed total incurred losses at first report fell from $3.6 billion in 2007 to $3.48 billion in 2008. Both total incurred medical and total incurred indemnity declined for the first time in four years.

According to CWCI’s report, 2008 permanent partial disability claims averaged $52,941, totaling 60 percent of all first report incurred losses for that year. Temporary disability claims represented nearly 20 percent of the first reports.

That same year, earned premium totaled $9.7 billion, compared to $9.1 billion of premium earned in 2009.

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