According to a report from the Insurance Journal, workers’ compensation claims among public self-insured employers in California spiked significantly over the past fiscal year. For the period running from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, workers’ compensation claims were up 35% among self-insured employers in the state—despite the size of the self-insured workforce remaining virtually unchanged. Here, our Bakersfield workers’ compensation defense lawyers discuss what we know about the spike in public self-insured workers’ compensation claims over the past year.

What Does it Mean to Be a Self-Insured Employer in California? (Workers’ Compensation)

California law (Labor Code § 3700) mandates that all employers have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) explains that California has the largest workers’ compensation self-insurance program in the entire nation. Nearly 7,000 private employers in our state are classified as “self-insured.” Self-insurance is an employer’s alternative to providing a workers’ compensation policy. The employer that opts to be self-insured covers any employee liabilities.

Being a self-insured employer can have some advantages, such as potentially lowering costs and having more control over the claims process. However, it also carries a higher level of risk, as the employer is financially responsible for any claims and may be subject to audits and additional oversight by the state. If you have any specific questions or concerns about operating as a self-insured employer in California, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help.

Official Data from the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI)

The California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI) has published official data on self-insured employers’ workers’ compensation claims for the second half of 2021 and the first half of 2022. The assessment found that workplace injuries and illness claims reported by self-insured employers in the state jumped by an astounding 35% when compared to the same period over the previous year. Notably, the number of people working for self-insured employers barely increased over the same period—rising by less than 1%.

The CWCI emphasizes that COVID-19 is a significant factor in the year-over-year increase. Not only did many people return to the office when compared to the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021, but many people also filed for benefits for a job-related COVID-19 infection and COVID-19 exposure that required a mandatory quarantine. While the number of total claims jumped at public self-insured employers in California, the average cost per claim was actually down a few percent over the most recent year, dropping to $4,043.00.

Set Up a Confidential Case Review with a Fresno, CA, Workers’ Compensation Defense Lawyer

At Yrulegui & Roberts, our California workers’ compensation defense lawyers go above and beyond to help our clients find the best solution for their specific legal needs. Give us a phone call now or contact us online to set up a no-cost, no-obligation review of your case. We provide workers’ compensation defense services in Bakersfield, Kern County, and throughout all of Central California.