California Workers’ Comp Bureau Report Shows Written Premium Falling

August 27, 2019

The Workers’ Compensation Bureau of California on Tuesday issued its latest quarterly report on insurer loss and premium experience valued as of March 31.

The report shows written premium for 2018 is 4% below that for 2017 and 6% below that for 2016.

The decreases since 2016 are primarily driven by decreases in insurer charged rates more than offsetting increases in employer payroll.

The report reflects findings in its 2019 State of the System report, which shows total written premium is expected to drop by $1 billion or more for 2019 despite the positive impacts of continued economic growth,

Written premium for the first three months of 2019 was 12% below the same period for 2018, suggesting that premium decreases will likely escalate in 2019, the quarterly report shows.

The average charged rate for the first three months of 2019 was 10% below that for 2018 and 31% below the peak in 2014, according to the report.

The January 1, 2019 approved advisory pure premium rates are on average 42% below those for Jan. 1, 2015, and WCIRB recently proposed a further 5% decrease in advisory pure premium rates for Jan. 1, 2020.

The projected loss ratio for 2018 is 4 points above that for 2017, driven by higher severities for 2018 and lower premium rates, according to the report.


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