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California workers comp claims up, but combined ratio improves: Report

California workers comp claims up, but combined ratio improves: Report

Workers compensation claim frequency increased last year in California, although combined ratios for California comp insurers fell in 2013, according to the California Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.

California saw a 4.9% increase in indemnity claim frequency in 2013, according to a presentation posted online Thursday by the San Francisco-based ratemaking agency. That's compared with a 2% decline in indemnity claim frequency for 2013 in the 38 states where the National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. helps set workers comp rates, the WCIRB said.

Indemnity claim severity increased 2.2% in 2013 in California, compared with a 2% increase in states where NCCI helps set workers comp advisory rates, WCIRB's report showed. The agency noted that while claim severity has moderated in California, pharmaceutical costs in the state continue to increase.

WCIRB showed that California workers comp insurers had a combined ratio of 111% in 2013, an improvement from 125% in 2012. That's compared with a combined ratio of 99% in 2013 and 107% in 2012 for national private workers comp insurers.

A copy of WCIRB's report is available on the agency's website.