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Workers Compensation Self Insureds – Often Ignored Puzzle Piece


Workers Compensation Self-Insureds Gripe At Me Most For This One Reason

Yes, I admit it.  I often write about Experience Modification Factors, premium audits, and other parts of the WC system.  I should be writing more articles on Workers Compensation Self Insureds than I have over the years.   Then again, I am not the only author that ignores this large market segment of the insurance industry.

pic workers compensation self insured agency UK
Wikimedia Commons – Betty Longbottom

Workers Compensation Self Insureds – A Few Numbers

Where do I go to find numbers on workers compensation self-insurance?  I had to range far and wide to find most of the numbers.  I had always estimated the self-insurance market at 15%.

A quick look at the overall numbers include

  • According to the SIAA, 6,000 corporations and their subsidiaries are workers compensation self-insureds.
  • Many governmental organizations self insure for workers comp – a massive amount of risk
  • California pre-pandemic statistics
    • $122 Billion total self-insured payroll
    • 2.3 Million CA Workers covered by self-insurance
    • 3,613 CA private entities are active self-insurers
    • $4 Billion Estimated Claims Reserves (EFL)
    • $1.4 Billion Medical and Indemnity payments
    • 76,675 Open Workers’ Compensation cases

No Self-insurance Rating Bureau Pandemic Relief

A few recent articles of mine covered the Catastrophe Code 12 for claims and the Classification Code 0012 for furloughed employees both assisting the employers except for self-insureds.   We may have to wait until 2026 to see the full effect of those two employer-assistance measures created by the Rate Bureaus.

Self-insureds do not usually submit their information to the rate bureaus as the insurance carriers are tasked with reporting this information through UNIT STAT reports.  

The bottom line – workers’ compensation self-insurance had no “buffer zones” to assist with having to pay out of company funds to cover work-related COVID-19 claims.   Please note that there could be some type of state government assistance to self-insureds by a specific state.  I have not seen that development yet.  If there are any,  please comment below for the self-insured readers.  Thanks. 

Some Studies Leave Out Workers Compensation Self-Insureds

One of the reasons that I decided to write this article is a recent study by a well-known statistical company.  Once I read the article, I had to disagree with the study in the article.  I am not going to name the company in this article.  You can find the study at the link provided.   I may write an additional article next week on the study.

Workers Comp self-insureds comprise 15% of the market, but are often left out of studies – and I should write about that market segment more than I have in the past.


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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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