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Workers Comp Premium Growth – Amazing NCCI Numbers


Workers Comp Premium Growth – Recovery or Expansion?

Yesterday, NCCI released an update and final premium numbers for 2022. The Workers Comp premium growth numbers showed that a recovery from the pandemic had occurred similar to the financial crisis recovery of 2008 – 2010.  The chart at the bottom of this article covers Workers Comp premium levels for the last 20 years.

These year-over-year numbers even forecast the same growth for 2023.  I attended the NCCI 2023 Annual Insights Symposium.  Being a numbers geek, I did not mention the solid figures for the overall workers comp premium growth.  I was looking at the granular level numbers and did not mention what appears to be a business recovery and expansion of sorts.

I decided to research the numbers further.  According to the US Census Bureau, new business applications were up over 40% for 2021 and 2022.  The chart below shows a massive business expansion due to new business applications.

Graph US Census Bureau New Business Applications
Provided by US Census Bureau

The Retail Trade sector had the sharpest increase.  All sectors spiked in the same time period.

NCCI Numbers = Workers Comp Premium Increase

The statistics provided by NCCI are below.

The final countrywide analysis shows that:

  • WC Calendar Year 2022 private carrier net written premium (NWP) increased from 2021 by 11.3% to $42.5 billion
  • The WC Calendar Year 2022 private carrier combined ratio was 84.0%, and the operating gain was 24.6%

While still early and subject to revision, preliminary analysis through the second quarter of 2023 shows that:

  • WC Calendar Year 2023 private carrier direct written premium (DWP) increased 5% through the first half of 2023, compared with DWP through the first half of 2022
  • The WC Calendar Year 2023 private carrier direct loss ratio through the first half of 2023 is at 47%, the same as that observed through the first half of 2022

Final WC Results for 2022

For Calendar Year 2022, the most recently reported (as of May 27) WC written premium volume net of reinsurance (NWP) is $42.5 billion for private carriers. This is unchanged from the NWP estimate presented at AIS 2023 and represents an 11.3% increase from 2021’s NWP volume of $38.2 billion. Including state funds, the Calendar Year 2022 NWP volume is $47.5 billion.

chart of workers comp premium growth



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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