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The WCIRB has released a report analyzing the elevated level of indemnity claim frequency that has persisted in California since 2010 and run counter to indemnity claim trends in other states. The Analysis of Changes in Indemnity Claim Frequency – 2013 Report, which is available on the WCIRB website (, identifies possible factors influencing the 2012 indemnity claim frequency increase and compares them to those factors impacting the 2010 increase.

Among the findings of the report are:

  • While the 2010 indemnity claim frequency increase was experienced in many states, the 2012 frequency increase appears to be unique to California.
  • Both the 2010 and 2012 frequency increases appear to be influenced by an increase in the number of late-reported indemnity claims and cumulative injury claims.
  • The 2012 increase in cumulative injury claims was focused primarily on permanent disability claims and claims involving injuries to multiple body parts. In contrast, the 2010 increase was spread across many types of injuries.
  • The 2010 indemnity claim frequency increase was significantly dampened by the impact of shifts in industrial mix towards less hazardous employments. In 2012, as the economy recovered in more hazardous industries such as construction and manufacturing, shifting industrial mix tended to slightly increase claim frequency.
  • While the 2010 indemnity claim frequency increase was generally experienced across all California regions, the 2012 increase was experienced primarily in the counties in and around the Los Angeles basin.
  • The economic recovery that continued through 2012 resulted in a higher number of newer workers in the labor force, and newer workers are often more likely to suffer a workplace injury.
  • A significant portion of the 2010 indemnity claim frequency increase was experienced in smaller indemnity claims that may have been medical-only in the past. Preliminary information suggests that the 2012 increase was more heavily concentrated in larger claim sizes.

The full report is available in the Research and Analysis section of the WCIRB website.