Workers Comp Industry Improving in the US


According to NCCI, Workers Comp Premiums Went Up for Second Year

After several hard years, workers comp premiums went up for the second consecutive year, according to a survey conducted by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.

Net written premiums for the US workers comp market increased 9% this past year, or $39.63 billion. This is a huge improvement over the cumulative 27% decline from 2006 to 2010.

“By many measures, the industry condition is indeed improving,” said Steve Klingel, NCCI president and CEO.”While we are pleased to see that the positives are beginning to outweigh the negatives, there remains great opportunity for improvement.”

“But for now, we view the overall industry condition as encouraging,” he added.

However, NCCI cautioned that workers comp reserves for private carriers had fallen for the fifth consecutive year. The industry faces a $13 billion deficit.

The NCCI also found, as part of their survey, that total lost-time claim to cost increased about 2% in 2012, which was about the same average rate of increase as wages that year.

NCCI officials also said that the workers comp residual market increased significantly in 2012. Premiums grew about 50%, while the average share in the residual market grew between 5% and 7%. So far, the growth has continued through the first part of 2013.

According to Klingel, long-term challenges could still affect the workers comp market. The instability of the economy, health care reform next year, and new legislation relating to workers comp could all still negatively impact the market.

“With this period of the last five or six years of very low interest rates, the industry has been able to maintain their investment income but we are concerned about what happens as they (insurers) start replacing maturing securities, particularly bonds that had high interest rates when they bought them, and they have to place them at much lower interest rates that are currently available,” said NCCI’s Chief Economist Harry Shuford.

“We are concerned we are going to see downward pressure on investment income over the next two to three years in the insurance industry, particularly if the Federal Reserve has to continue this aggressive monetary policy because of the slow recovery.” This challenge is “sort of the wild card,” he says.

“If that happens, I think I would see even more premium increases, tighter underwriting and continued growth in the residual market,” Shuford said.

Workers Comp in South Carolina

Any full-time employee (working for an employer with four or more employees) who has an employment related injury and needs medical attention should be covered under workers’ compensation insurance. It doesn’t matter if the injury was a complete accident or the fault of a co-worker.

The employee MUST notify his or her employer within 90 days of the injury or risk losing the right to benefits under workers compensation. (It is recommended that you record details of your accident and to whom you reported it.)

Migrant and seasonal farm workers are not covered under workman’s compensation insurance.

If it’s been more than 90 days since your work accident occurred, you may need help obtaining benefits for medical treatment and lost wages.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Workers Comp Claims in South Carolina

The workers comp lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC proudly seek justice on behalf of employees injured or killed on the job who work for private companies, as well as employees working for local county, city, and state government. We are licensed to practice throughout South Carolina, as well as Georgia and New York. If you are confused about worker’s comp laws, or have had your worker’s comp claim denied, contact us. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800.