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WCIRB Report on First Quarter 2017 Insurer Experience Released

The WCIRB has released its quarterly update on California statewide insurer experience valued as of March 31, 2017. Highlights of the report include:

  • California written premium for the first quarter of 2017 is $5.0 billion, which is consistent with the written premium reported for the first quarter of 2016.
  • The projected industry average charged rate per $100 of payroll for policies incepting between January 1, 2017 and March 31, 2017 is $2.56, which is 3% below the average rate charged for the second six months of 2016 and 15% below the average rate charged for the first six months of 2015.
  • The WCIRB projects an ultimate accident year combined loss and expense ratio of 95% for 2016, which is slightly above the ratios for the prior two accident years but on average these ratios represent the lowest combined ratios since the 2004 through 2006 period.
  • The WCIRB projects indemnity claim frequency for accident year 2016 to be 1.0% below the frequency for 2015 but 10% above the frequency for 2009. The frequency increases experienced in 2010 through 2014 are largely attributed to increases in cumulative injury claims, late reported indemnity claims, claims involving injuries to multiple body parts, and claims from the Los Angeles Basin area. 2015 and 2016 represent the first consecutive years of projected indemnity claim frequency decline since before the Great Recession.
  • The WCIRB projects that the average indemnity cost of a 2016 indemnity claim is 19% higher than that for 2012, primarily a result of SB 863 increases to permanent disability benefits effective in 2013 and 2014. The projected average medical cost of a 2016 indemnity claim is 6% above that for 2015, which represents the first significant increase in average medical costs following several years of flat to declining medical severities resulting from the medical cost savings arising from SB 863. 

The full report is available in the Research section of the WCIRB website ( and linked below:

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August 25, 2017