California Workers’ Comp Premium for First Two Quarters of 2020 Down 11%

October 5, 2020

Written workers’ compensation premium in California for the first two quarters of 2020 was 11% below that for the first two quarters of 2019, according to a new report out.

The Worker’s Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California released its quarterly experience report on Monday.

“The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the California economy is expected to significantly reduce employer payroll and insurer premium for the remainder of 2020,” the report states.

The average charged rate for the first two quarters of 2020 was 8% below that for 2019 and 40% below the peak in 2014, the WCIRB report shows.

The Jan 1, 2020 approved advisory pure premium rates were on average 47% below those for Jan. 1, 2015, according to the report.

“Absent COVID-19, the indicated average advisory pure premium rate for January 1, 2021 was slightly below the 2020 level,” the report states. “However, when including the COVID-19 claim impact, the WCIRB proposed a 2.6% increase in average advisory pure premium rates.”

The WCIRB in September submitted its Jan. 1, 2021, pure premium rate filing to the California Department of Insurance, proposing advisory pure premium rates that are on average 2.6% above the average approved Jan. 1, 2020, advisory pure premium rates.

Premium decreases through the first quarter of 2020 were driven by decreases in insurer charged rates. However, after adjusting to a common charged rate level, premiums grew consistent with economic growth.

“The large decrease in premium for the second quarter of 2020 is driven by the sudden and sharp slowdown in the economy,” the report states.

The full report is available on the WCRIB’s bulletins section of its website.

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