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The fact that the workers compensation combined ratio was 101 in 2013, a seven-point decrease from 2012 and a 14-point decline since 2011, is a sign that the workers’ compensation market is returning to a state of “balance,” according to the industry’s statistical and rating organization, NCCI.

“We are finally starting to see an industry in balance with these results,” said NCCI President and CEO Steve Klingel, reporting on the state of the industry at NCCI’s annual symposium. “Today, industry costs are largely contained, claims frequency continues to decline, and the system in most states is operating efficiently. In short, the market is operating as it should on behalf of most stakeholders.”

According to the story in the Insurance Journal, overall, the workers compensation line showed a number of positive results in 2013, said Kathy Antonello, NCCI chief actuary. Premiums grew for the third consecutive year, and at the same time, the combined ratio fell by seven points. The overall reserve position for private carriers improved in 2013, following five consecutive years of deterioration. NCCI estimates the year-end 2013 reserve position to be an $11 billion deficiency for private carriers. The workers compensation residual market experienced a second straight year of significant growth in 2013. Premiums grew by more than 30 percent, and the average market share in the residual market increased from 7 percent to 8 percent. NCCI’s latest data shows the pace of growth has slowed in the first quarter of 2014.

In other good news, lost-time claim frequency maintained a path of decline in 2013, down 2 percent, on average, in NCCI states. The 2 percent decline is within NCCI’s long-term annual estimate of a of 2-4 percent decline per year .