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California written premium on upswing


Despite continued declines in insurer rates, California’s worker compensation written premium in 2022 was 14% higher than 2021, and at approximately the pre-pandemic level, according to a first-quarter 2023 report released Friday by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California.

WCIRB said the increase was driven by higher employee wage levels and the economic recovery, as written premium decreased sharply in 2020 and remained low in 2021 due to the pandemic-related economic downturn combined with continued insurer rate decreases.

After increasing over the prior four years, the 107 projected combined ratio for 2022, which included COVID-19 claims, is five points lower than in 2021, according to the report.

The average charged rate for 2022 was $1.68 per $100 of payroll, 7% below 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.