Workers Compensation Claim Frequency Continues to Decline in 2009

Posted Date: October 04, 2010

Industry InformationResearch

In a new research brief, NCCI reports that the decline in claim frequency for workers compensation injuries continued in 2009, and economic factors suggest further reductions are likely in 2010.

Preliminary results indicate a decline in claim frequency of 4.0% for 2009. This is on the heels of a 3.4% drop in 2008 and extends a downward trend that started in 1991.

Note, however, that NCCI's latest data reveals that, while claim frequency is down, indemnity and medical severities continue to rise, somewhat offsetting the good news.

Key findings in this year's analysis are listed below:

  • Preliminary data for Accident Year 2009 reveals a continued overall decline in claim frequency and overall increases in indemnity and medical severities.
  • Over the latest five years, the decline in frequency continues to be widespread. Frequency declines were observed for all industries, geographic regions, and employer sizes, as well as for most claim types.
  • Claims considered "Likely-to-Develop" exhibited a larger percentage frequency decline than those considered "Not-Likely-to-Develop."
  • Some of the more complex claims, such as carpal tunnel and lower back, declined more than average over the latest five years.
  • Frequency changes vary considerably by type of injury.
  • Injury type differences notwithstanding, frequency changes are relatively consistent by size of loss for claims under $250,000.