Despite continued reductions in insurance rates, California workers’ compensation premiums in 2022 were 14% higher than in 2021, and at about the pre-pandemic level, according to a report for the first quarter of 2023 released Friday by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California.
The WCIRB said the increase was driven by higher wage levels for employees and the economic recovery, as written premium declined sharply in 2020 and remained low in 2021 due to the pandemic-related economic downturn combined with continued reductions in insurer interest rates.
After increasing over the previous four years, the projected total cost percentage of 107 for 2022, which included COVID-19 claims, is five points lower than in 2021, according to the report.
The average rate charged for 2022 was $1.68 per $100 in wages, up 7% from 2021 and the lowest in decades. The WCIRB proposed a modest overall increase of 0.3% in advisory pure premium rates in its rate filing this year.