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Workers Comp Pandemic Data – Why Only Through March 2021?


#1 Question We Receive Now – Where Is Workers Comp Pandemic Data?

Every few months, I try to stop and compile similarities in questions that we receive – (often now in person) for articles and to hone our Workers Comp advice.  Workers Comp does not really ever change that much.   I attempt to change my outlook to produce non-boring articles and presentations.  The workers comp pandemic data delay seems to be a larger concern to employers, agents, and consultants than I had thought.

pic james webb telescope workers comp pandemic data
(c) NASA.gov – Public Use License

Writing about the #1 question we receive over a few months’ time covers more ground for more people. Not long after the pandemic started, a few of the “expert pundits” were wanting the rating bureaus (NCCI, WCIRB, etc.) to publish preliminary data.  The bureaus wisely did not publish anything early and speculative (good job!).

I had written a few articles that you can link to at the end of this article on this subject.

Early Workers Comp Pandemic Data vs X-Mod Structure

As many of us know what happens in a workers comp policy will not show up immediately in your E-Mod (X-Mod).  The freshest workers comp data available is from 18 months ago.

Carriers are now reporting the data to the rate bureaus from 18 months ago.  That wait time is called claims development.   In case you want a quick review, one-minute and two-minute videos of how the Experience Period (the wait) works, can be found here.

Data Has Extra Six-Month Delay Beyond 18 – No Really, 6 More Months

Why?  The data has to be checked by the rating bureau.  Sometimes the bureaus bounce the data submission back to the carriers for corrections.  The rating bureaus have been much more expedient in producing X-Mods.  When I first started tracking clients’ Mods, receiving the Mod one month before the policy start date was considered early.

The X-Mod for a policy comes from two years in the past at a minimum.  Many times, we receive emailed questions when employers are trying to match their loss run claims values to their Experience Mod sheets.

One main reason they do not match is the ALAE figures are not in the Mods.  The other reason is the Experience Mod Sheets are a reflection of the past, not the present.   Like the new James Webb telescope, we are looking into the past, not the present employer condition including safety programs.

Caution – Plugging Workers Comp Pandemic Data Into An Algorithm

I usually do not recommend plugging the loss numbers into any algorithm, even the ones supplied by the rating bureaus.  GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) comes from data science acronyms.

I used to debate with Actuaries on this subject.  Most actuaries want to do data smoothing and other techniques to have the most accurate information possible.  I used to say “the data is the data – how many data changes are really required?”

After seeing the results of plugging a loss run and payroll numbers into a spreadsheet or software to predict the effect of the workers comp pandemic data, please be very careful.

Related Articles-

The Long Six-Month Wait

Experience Period 




Experience Mod Predictions Accurate?

Experience Mod Predictions – Accuracy Depends on Who/Whom You Ask Most Experience Mod predictions can be a tedious process that has cofounded most people working

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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