Oakland, CA – The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) recently announced the release of its 2023 State of the System Report. This report highlights key metrics of the California workers’ compensation system, including the latest trends on rates, market characteristics and profitability.
This annual report is developed to provide workers’ compensation professionals with a comprehensive view of California’s workers’ compensation system based on the latest available information.
Top learnings from the report include:
- California workers’ compensation premium levels increased by 14 percent in 2022 due to the economic recovery from the pandemic-related downturn. With continued economic expansion and flattening insurer charged rates, premiums are forecast to be above the pre-pandemic level in 2023.
- Claim frequency is generally returning to pre-pandemic levels. The frequency of non-COVID-19 indemnity claims was relatively flat in 2022, following sharp changes in 2020 and 2021 related to the pandemic. After the Omicron surge in the winter of 2021, the share of COVID-19 claims and costs declined and has been stable for the majority of 2022 through early 2023.
- Average indemnity claim costs continue to increase, primarily driven by increasing average wage levels.
- California continues to experience longer average claim duration compared to other states, driven by slower claim reporting, lower settlement rates and higher frictional costs.
- With increasing premium levels and relatively stable claim frequency and severity trends, the accident year combined ratio decreased by 7 points to 105 percent in 2022.
Source: CA WCIRB