Report: Workers’ Comp Premiums in California for First 9 Months of the Year Down 3%

December 12, 2018

The Workers’ Compensation Rating Bureau of California issued its quarterly experience report on Wednesday showing premium for the first nine months of 2018 was 3 percent below the same period for 2017.

The WCIRB issued a report in September that shows worker’s comp rates in California have been going down a while, which has had an impact on written premium.

The report shows written premium for 2017 was 2 percent below that of 2016. The decrease in 2017, which followed consecutive years of increases, was primarily driven by decreases in insurer charged rates more than offsetting increases in employer payroll, the WCIRB report shows.

Average charged rates for the first nine months of 2018 are 10 percent below those for 2017 and 23 percent below the peak in 2014, according to the report.

The Jan. 1, 2019 approved advisory pure premium rates are on average 42 percent below those for Jan. 1, 2015, the WCIRB noted.

The projected loss ratio for 2017 is 2 points above that for 2016, driven by higher medical severities for 2017 and lower premium rates,” the WCIRB stated in its report. “Despite the increase in 2017, projections for other years are below those projected in prior quarters as a result of favorable loss development continuing to emerge.”

The projected combined ratio for 2017 is 4 points higher than 2016, as premium levels have lowered while average claim severities increased moderately, according to the bureau.

“Despite the recent increase, combined ratios for 2014 to 2017 remain the lowest since the 2004 through 2006 period,” the report stated.

The report also shows that indemnity claims continue to settle quicker, “improving significantly” over the last six years.

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