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Primary Loss – How Much Is It Recent NCCI WCIRB Rule Changes


Primary Loss – Term Of The Day

The primary loss part of a claim is one of the most important terms involving the premiums your company pays for Workers Comp insurance.

Graphic Of Card Gold Coins Primary Loss And Money

It is the part of any loss that weighs very heavily on your E-Mod or X-Mod. In almost all cases, it is the first $5,000 of the Total Incurred, not spent, on each Workers Compensation claim. As mentioned often in this blog, Total Incurred = $ Spent + Outstanding Reserves.

UpdateNCCI the main rating bureau for Workers Comp in the US has increased the primary loss from 5,000 to 15,000 over the last few years.    Some states have actually increased the figure beyond the 15,000 threshold.

I have been commenting for years that there is nothing known as a small claim.  All WC claims are a straight expense to any company’s budget.   Safety has now become even more important as the Excess Loss has now been reduced by 10,000.

The two areas of concern here are medical treatment and return to work.  These two concepts are the simplest way to control a claim.  The most expensive part of a claim is the 15,000 primary loss.

Update – California now bases the primary loss on company size.  This is a totally hybrid number without any known level until the X-Mods are produced for an employer.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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