According to preliminary estimates, workers compensation lost-time claim frequency declined by a relatively modest 2% in Accident Year 2013. The Great Recession of 2007–2009, which was the most serious and long lasting economic contraction since the Great Depression, had a considerable effect on claim frequency changes. Frequency increased in Accident Year 2010 and has declined in each subsequent accident year.
In addition to examining overall frequency trends in recent years, this paper also looks at:
- Frequency changes by selected claim characteristics.
- Frequency for policies with small deductibles versus policies without deductibles.
Overall Frequency Trends by Accident Year
- According to preliminary estimates, lost-time claim frequency per premium for workers compensation declined by 2% in Accident Year 2013 (see NCCI’s 2014 State of the Line).
- From 1990 through 2009 claim frequency declined at an average rate of more than 4% per year.
- Claim frequency increased 3.5% in Accident Year 2010, the first significant increase in frequency in 20 years. Following the 2010 uptick, claim frequency has declined for three straight years at an average rate of about 3% per year, a positive sign that suggests frequency may continue its historical long-term rate of decline.
- Influenced by the Great Recession, frequency changes varied considerably by size of loss from 2008 to 2012. In Accident Year 2012, there was a sharp decline in the frequency of claims above $50,000.
- From Accident Year 2008 through 2012, frequency per premium declined for all five NCCI major industry groups, most notably in the Office & Clerical Industry Group.