According to a report from the Insurance Journal, the written premium for California workers’ claims in 2021 was 2% lower than 2020 and 14% lower than 2019. The decrease was driven largely by a drop in the charged workers’ compensation insurance rate. Here, our Fresno workers’ compensation defense lawyer provides a more in-depth assessment of the latest workers’ compensation rate report for California.

WCIRB California Released Its Latest Quarterly Report

The Insurance Journal article cites data from the most recent Quarterly Experience Report from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB California). The organization determined that the total written premium for workers’ compensation in our state was $300 million dollars lower in 2021 than it was in 2020—a drop of approximately two percentage points.  

The COVID-19 Pandemic is Likely Still Having a Major Impact on Workers’ Compensation Rates

Since March 2020, tens of thousands of workers across the State of California have filed for workers’ compensation benefits for job-related COVID-19. That being said, the total number of worker injury claims since the start of the pandemic is still down significantly. As seen in the most recent data from WCIRB California, there was a 11.9% drop in workers’ compensation claims in 2020.

For reference, that represents the single most drastic one-year change in the history of California’s workers’ compensation system. An increase in work-from-home and the temporary restrictions on certain businesses likely caused the drop in workplace injuries. While non-COVID-19 related workers’ compensation claims were up in 2021 when compared to 2020, there was a drop in COVID-19 related workers’ compensation claims in California. Total claims are still below the pre-pandemic level.

Seasonality Has Been a Huge Issue for COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Claims the Past Two Years

The COVID-19 virus has hit California in waves. There was a sharp initial spike in the Spring of 2020. According to the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California, approximately 20% of all workers’ compensation claims filed in the state between April 2020 and July 2020 were for the COVID-19 virus or COVID-19 exposure. By the Spring 2021, COVID-19 claims were down to just 1% of total workers’ compensation claims in California.

However, the waves have continued. During the Omicron surge this past winter, the number of COVID-19 claims surged. In January 2022, 41% of all workers’ compensation claims filed in California were for COVID-exposure. However, by March 2022, that number had once again dropped below one percent. The virus is likely to have an impact on workers’ compensation and workers’ compensation rates as long as community spread continues.

Speak to Our Fresno, CA Workers’ Compensation Defense Attorney Today

At Yrulegui & Roberts, our California workers’ compensation defense lawyer has the professional expertise that you can trust for results. Reach out to us by phone or send us a message to arrange a completely private initial case review. From our offices in Fresno, Bakersfield, and Sacramento, we provide reliable workers’ compensation defense services throughout the Central Valley of California.