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The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) released the 2022 WCIRB Geo Study, which underscores regional differences in claim characteristics across California. The web-based interactive map allows you to quickly view key measures across regions.

The study, related exhibits and mapping of nine-digit zip codes o the regions referenced in the study are available in the Research section of the WCIRB website.

Key findings include:

– – Even after controlling for regional differences in wages and industry mix, indemnity claim frequency is significantly higher in the Los Angeles (LA) Basin and significantly lower in the San Francisco Bay Area.
– – During the pandemic, indemnity claim frequency increased significantly in Orange County relative to the rest of the state and decreased significantly in Ventura and Santa Monica/San Fernando Valley.
– – The share of open indemnity claims has decreased substantially in all regions since 2013. The decreases have been larger in the LA Basin regions that had the highest initial open indemnity claim shares.
– – The share of larger indemnity claims (those with incurred costs greater than $250,000) at third report level tends to be higher in regions that have lower indemnity frequency. Northern California regions, including the Bay Area and Peninsula/Silicon Valley, tend to have higher shares of larger indemnity claims.
– – During the pandemic, the median injured worker’s average weekly wage increased significantly in all regions. The increases were largest in Fresno/Madera, San Gabriel Valley/Pasadena, Santa Monica/San Fernando Valley and Tulare/Inyo. The median wage in these regions has often been lower than the statewide average.
– – The share of cumulative trauma claims as a percent of all claims increased for all regions during the pandemic. The increase was largest in San Bernardino/West Riverside and LA/Long Beach which also have high relative frequency of indemnity claims. It was also relatively high in the Bay area and Sonoma/Napa which saw decreases in the relative frequency of indemnity claims.
– – Medical-legal costs are significantly higher in the LA Basin, Orange County and Santa Monica/San Fernando Valley regions than in the remainder of the state.
– – Paid allocated loss adjustment expenses (ALAE) are significantly higher in Southern California regions.
– – In 2020, nearly one in eight indemnity claims reported in California were due to COVID-19. Shares of COVID-19 claims were higher in Southern California.
– – Average weekly wages for workers with COVID-19 claims were significantly higher than average weekly wages for workers with non-COVID-19 claims in all regions. The differences were greatest in the Ventura, San Bernardino/West Riverside and San Diego regions.

The WCIRB will host a free webinar to discuss the 2022 WCIRB Geo Study. Click on the registration link to sign up. Please submit your questions while registering; time permitting, we will answer your questions during the webinar or follow up via email afterward. – Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PT. WCIRB Presenters: Dave Bellusci, Executive Vice President and Chief Actuary; Laura Carstensen, Vice President, Actuarial Research; and Shane Steele, Research Actuary.

For those unable to attend the live webinar, a recording will be posted in the Research section of the WCIRB website following the event.