COVID-19 workers comp claims fall in 2021

COVID-19-related workers compensation claims fell last year compared with 2020, when the pandemic first hit the United States, but indemnity-only claims continued to represent the biggest share, a group of rating agencies said in a report released Tuesday.

The average claim cost over the two-year period was $9,600, according to the report from the National Council on Compensation Insurance and nine other rating bureaus.

Countrywide, COVID-19 comp claim counts and losses decreased by more than half, with COVID-19 claim counts falling to 4% of all claims in 2021 from 11% in the prior year and total payments falling to 1% from 2%.

Most states saw a peak in COVID-19 claims in the fourth quarter of 2020, the study notes.

About 75% of COVID-19-related lost-time claims in 2020 and the first half of 2021 were from the health care sector, while the sector only accounts for about 9% of non-COVID-19 lost-time claims. Health care facilities with overnight care, which includes retirement homes and nursing homes, had the highest relative share of COVID-19 claims.

The analysis relied on data from 45 jurisdictions, representing $1.1 billion in COVID-19-related losses from about 117,000 claims. In addition to the NCCI, rating bureaus participating in the study were from California, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

This article was first published in Business Insurance.

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