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The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) has released its Quarterly Experience Report, an update on California statewide insurer experience valued as of December 31, 2020.

Highlights of the report include:

– – California written premium for 2020 is 13 percent below that for 2019 and is the lowest since 2012.
– – The average charged rate for 2020 is 9 percent below that for 2019 and 40 percent below the peak in 2014.
– – Excluding COVID-19 claims, the projected combined ratio for 2020 is 96% which is more comparable to the 2019 ratio.
– – Indemnity claim frequency for Accident Year 2020, excluding COVID-19 claims, is almost 6 percent below 2019.
– – Indemnity claims had been settling quicker through 2019, largely driven by the reforms of SB 863 and SB 1160.
– – Projected indemnity severity for 2020 excluding COVID-19 claims is 9% higher than 2019. This estimate is preliminary as it is primarily based on temporary disability (TD) benefits paid on 2020 claims.
– – Medical severities have been relatively flat since 2016.
– – Average Medical Cost Containment Program (MCCP) costs have generally declined in the last several years as average medical costs have moderated.
– – Medical service costs per claim decreased by 26% from 2012 through 2019, driven by decreases in the number of transactions per claim.
– – Overall medical service costs per claim in the first half of 2020 are flat. However, costs per claim increased modestly in early 2020 but declined after the onset of the pandemic.
– – Pharmaceutical costs per claim decreased by 84% from 2012 through 2019.
– – Projected total statewide ultimate losses for 2004 through 2020 evaluations are below the amounts reported by insurers.

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