California's written compensation for written workers decreased by 12% in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 2019 and is expected to be the lowest since 2012 for the entire calendar year, according to the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California's quarterly experience report released Friday.
The average contribution rate for employee benefits during the first nine months of this year was 9% during the previous year and 40% below the top level in the state in 2014.
While premium reductions in the first quarter of 2020 were due to declines in insurers' contribution rates, the declines were driven during other and the third quarter of wage cuts amid the "sudden and sharp slowdown in the economy," the agency said in a statement. Claims activity also decreased during the second quarter due to the shutdowns but began to tip again during the third quarter.
Reported claims for damages during the second quarter were 1
Claims have been resolved more rapidly in recent years, driven by legislative reforms, but the closure rate fell sharply in the second and third quarters of 2020 due to pandemic suspensions and is likely to continue to increase as damages remain open longer, the agency said. Treatment due to the pandemic could lead to an increase this year, according to the report, as research has shown that treatment delays are often associated with higher medical costs.
The report also noted that cumulative trauma claims are still well above – Major recession levels but have remained stable since 2016, but the Bureau expects these to increase as such claims have been correlated with economic downturns.
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