The State of California Workers Comp

What is the state of California workers comp?

The Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California recently released a report that includes a broad spectrum of information that will interest California employers. We’ll share some of the highlights here:

California, with only 11% of the countrywide workforce, generates one-fifth of all workers’ compensation premiums in the country. This is largely due to high premium rates and higher than typical wage levels

While premiums more than doubled from 2009 to 2016, they dropped in 2017 due to declining insurer rates more than offsetting payroll growth. With insurer rates continuing to drop, premium in 2018 will likely further decline.

Increases in the workforce and in average wage levels drove premium growth in 2015-2016, offsetting some of the impact of reduced insurer rates in 2017. Reduced rates should more than offset payroll growth in 2018, likely further dampening premiums.

California’s workers comp rates are among the highest in the country. Largely this is due to high frequency of permanent disability claims, a more prolonged pattern of medical treatments, and much higher than average costs of handling claims and delivering benefits.

Claim frequency has declined by more than 80% over the last 50 years. This is thanks to shifts in economic activity from a more manufacturing-based economy to a more service-based economy. Increased mechanization within industries and greater attention to workplace safety also played a part.

California has by far the highest permanent partial disability claim frequency in the country

For even more insights, download the complete report. is offered by Insurance Partners, Inc., which has specialized in worker’s comp insurance for more than 35 years. If you have questions about your worker’s comp insurance coverage, contact us.

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