2019 Trends in California Workers Compensation Cases (Pt. 1)
The Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California is a private nonprofit membership association comprised of more than 400 workers’ compensation insurance companies in California. Every year they hold an annual conference to discuss the trends in California workers compensation cases.
At the 2019 WCIRB Annual Conference, Dave Bellusci, WCIRB Executive Vice President and Chief Actuary discussed some of the key trends in workers compensation in California this year. Here are some highlights of what was revealed.
Recent Decline in Workers Compensation Premiums
- After seven straight years of increase, since 2017 California’s total workers compensation premiums have decreased. The forecast for 2019 indicates approximately $15.7 billion in premiums.
- The declining premium rates have partially offset the growth in employer payroll growth, which results in lower premiums overall.
Workers Compensation Market Trends
- Approximately 50% of the marketplace is allocated to the top 10 insurance carriers, which represents the least concentrated market in years. Additionally, the majority of California’s marketplace is written by national carriers.
- The California State Fund reports a trend resulting in a historically low market share – down from over 50% to 8%.
- Following the 2017 reforms, California boasts a lower number of medical liens.
- In the 2018 accident year the combined ratio is 90%, which marks five years of a ratio of 90% or lower. Over the past three years, however, the ratio has increased.
Workers Compensation Rates Decline Overall, But California’s are Still High
- Even in the face of rising expenses, carrier rates have continued to fall. Combined ratios are partially driven by carrier rates, so the expectation is that the combined ratios will begin to trend lower.
- Charged rates are at a 40-year low, having decreased by one third since 2015 and two-thirds since 2003.
- Despite the rate decreases, according to a bi-annual Oregon study, the amount of California’s average charged rates are second only to New York’s, and it clearly remains a very expensive state in terms of workers comp.
Long Beach Workers Compensation Lawyers
If you were injured or made ill in the workplace, we recommend that you speak with an experienced workers comp lawyer immediately. Even if you are currently receiving workers comp benefits, it is a good idea to get some legal advice to protect your rights going into the future.
An experienced workers compensation lawyer can help you identify minor issues before they become major problems – and make sure that you not only receive your benefits now, but for years to come.
Your consultation with our workers’ comp lawyers is 100% confidential, and neither your employer nor your insurance company will be notified that you requested a consultation with us. Our lawyers will help you understand your rights and work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum workers’ comp benefits for which you qualify.