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COVID-19 comp claims much less than expected



Fee's compensation claim for COVID-19 last year was significantly less than the predictions from doomsday early in the pandemic, but experts are concerned that long-term symptoms and contradictory assumptions in some states could adversely affect the industry in the future.

November and December combined, the United States reported 11 million new COVID-19 cases, in which insurance companies and credit rating agencies received similar hopes in employee claims.

Matt Zender, Las Vegas-based senior vice president of workers' compensation strategy for AmTrust Financial Services Inc., said that compensation claims in his book booked the last two months of 2020.

California reported 1

5,000 claims filed in November and 32,000 in December – claiming at the turn of the year for the two months a total of as many as were filed in the other months since the pandemic began, according to data from the California Workers Compensation Institute. In September and October, the CWCI reported fewer than 5,000 claims filed each month.

Approximately one in six employees in California was assigned COVID-19 by 2020, but only a small portion of these claims required significant medical treatment or hospitalization. , says Alex Swedlow, president of Oakland, California-based CWCI.

"At the beginning of the pandemic, the hypothetical scenarios and forecasts related to direct cost effects were rather bleak," Kim Haugaard, senior vice president of policyholder services at Austin-based Texas Mutual Insurance Co., wrote in an email. "The current impact has not been as bad as we expected it to have been."

COVID-19 claims represented only about 2% of all workers' compensation claims paid by Texas Mutual at the end of the year, Mr. In Haugaard.

At AmTrust, the proportion of COVID-19 receivables in the insurance company's workbook accounts for less than 5% of the total dollars generated, says Zender.

"For us it has been low, mostly because the claims we have seen have not meant a high proportion of hospital stays, he said, noting that the damages" distort a little higher than we expect, but many of these medical claims are only reported not, "unless the individual receives extensive medical treatment in a hospital.

The National Council for Compensation Insurance, which has just begun studying industry data from the third quarter, also noted that COVID-19 claims had less medical activity than it" would have seen Under normal circumstances, said Raji Chadarevian, Head of Medical Regulation and Informatics at Boca Raton, NCCI, Florida.

Strictly speaking, COVID-19 claims with medical treatments saw fewer claims in the first half than expected, he said. hospital stays, with all but 1% of the claims requiring intensive care; the cost of hospital stays for these damages averaged $ 38,500. [19659002] Some states were hit harder by coronavirus comp claims in the first half of the year than others, including Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida and New Jersey, Chadarevian said.

AmTrust's book has seen an increase in workers' compensation claims in states where COVID-19 compensatability assumptions have been codified, such as California, which accounted for one-third of insurer's coronavirus comp claims, Zender said.

States that introduced few coronavirus restrictions also reported higher rates of compensation, he said. He noted a large number of claims from Florida, which may have "some relation to state actions and how much they remained open."

Florida reported that it had accepted more than 29,000 COVID-19 medical and damages claims by 2020, paying out approximately $ 55.4 million, according to a January report from the Florida Division of Workers Compensation.

Mr. Zender said the economic effects of the long-term effects of COVID-19 on compensation claims are still unknown.

"We are just beginning to try to understand what the long-term consequences of COVID can be for the respiratory systems, the circulatory system," said Swedlow. "It will be a while before we know what impact it will have on long-term employees claiming COVID."

More insurance and compensation news for the coronavirus crisis here .

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