California’s DWP Down Again

Nancy Grover

Oakland, CA ( – “For the second year in a row total direct written premium in the California workers’ compensation system fell in 2018, declining 3.8 percent to less than $12.3 billion as 9 of the 10 largest insurer groups in the state wrote less premium in 2018 as they did in 2017,” said the California Workers’ Compensation Institute.

Market data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and posted by the California Department of Insurance shows insurers’ aggregate premium dropped by nearly $489 million in calendar year 2018. The declining premium rates “more than offset the increase in covered payroll,” the CWCI Bulletin noted.

The average charged rate for California workers’ compensation policies incepting in 2018 fell to $2.25 per $100 of payroll last month, a decrease of 11 percent from 2017. That followed a string of rate declines since legislative reforms were enacted and the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau’s governing board has recommended reductions in the pure premium rates insurers use as a benchmark to set their rates. The reductions were mainly due to declining medical losses under SB 863.

The report also ranks the top insurer groups by premium volume. For 2018 they are:

  • Berkshire Hathaway Group
  • State Compensation Insurance Fund
  • IWC Group/Assets Inc Group
  • AmTrust Financial Services Group
  • Hartford Fire & Casualty Group

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