Facts + Statistics: Workplace Safety/Workers Comp

Workers Compensation Insurance

Workers compensation insurance provides for the cost of medical care and rehabilitation for injured workers and lost wages and death benefits for the dependents of persons killed in work-related accidents. Workers compensation systems vary from state to state. Workers compensation combined ratios are expressed in two ways. Calendar year results reflect claim payments and changes in reserves for accidents that happened in that year or earlier. Accident year results only include losses from a particular year.

Workers Compensation Insurance, 2012-2021

($000)

      Combined ratio (1)
Year Net premiums
written (2)
Annual percent
change
Calendar
year (3)
Annual point
change (4)
Accident
year (5)
Annual point
change
2012 $38,947,491 9.2% 110.4 -7.2 pts. 101 -8 pts.
2013 41,147,216 5.6 103.0 -7.4 94 -7
2014 43,753,885 6.3 101.9 -1.2 89 -5
2015 45,355,102 3.7 95.5 -6.4 87 -2
2016 45,619,831 0.6 95.6 0.1 86 -1
2017 45,047,380 -1.3 92.2 -3.4 88 2
2018 48,614,131 7.9 86.3 -5.8 91 3
2019 47,146,756 -3.0 88.3 2.0 96 5
2020 42,529,620 -9.8 90.2 1.9 99 3
2021 42,680,678 0.4 91.5 1.3 102 (6) 3

(1) After dividends to policyholders. A drop in the combined ratio represents an improvement; an increase represents a deterioration.
(2) After reinsurance transactions, excludes state funds.
(3) Calendar year data are from S&P Global Market Intelligence.
(4) Calculated from unrounded data.
(5) Accident year data are from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).
(6) Estimated by NCCI.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute; ©National Council on Compensation Insurance.

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Top 10 Writers Of Workers' Compensation Insurance By Direct Premiums Written, 2021

($000)

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written (1) Market share (2)
1 Travelers Companies Inc. $3,547,060 6.8%
2 Hartford Financial Services 3,293,689 6.3
3 AmTrust Financial 2,449,896 4.7
4 Zurich Insurance Group 2,354,376 4.5
5 Chubb Ltd. 2,203,827 4.2
6 Liberty Mutual 2,086,375 4.0
7 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 1,927,849 3.7
8 New York State Insurance Fund Workers' Compensation Fund 1,733,104 3.3
9 Accident Fund Group 1,667,442 3.2
10 Old Republic International Corp. 1,291,135 2.5

(1) Before reinsurance transactions, includes state funds.
(2) Based on U.S. total, includes territories.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

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Workers Compensation Benefits, Coverage And Costs, 2019

 

  2019 Percent change,
2015-2019
Covered workers (000) 144,407 6.2%
Covered wages ($ billions)  $8,560 18.7
Workers compensation benefits paid ($ billions)  63.0 0.4
     Medical benefits  31.3 -1.1
     Cash benefits  31.8 2.0
Employer costs for workers compensation ($ billions)  100.2 0.9

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Top 10 Private Industry Occupations With The Largest Number Of Injuries And Illnesses, 2020 (1)

 

Rank Occupation  Number Percent of total
1 Nursing assistants 96,480 8.2%
2 Registered nurses 78,740 6.7
3 Laborers (2) 64,930 5.5
4 Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer  43,500 3.7
5 Stockers and order fillers 31,280 2.7
6 Licensed practical and
licensed vocational nurses
29,230 2.5
7 Retail salespersons 28,110 2.4
8 Personal care aides 27,750 2.4
9 Production workers, all other 26,850 2.3
10 General maintenance and repair workers 23,400 2.0
  Total top 10 450,270 38.3%
  Total all occupations 1,176,300 100.0%

(1) Nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving days off from work for private industries; excludes farms with fewer than 11 employees.
(2) Laborers and freight, stock and material movers.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Causes of Workplace Deaths

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, transportation related accidents (including vehicle crashes) were the leading cause of workplace deaths in 2020, with 1,778 fatalities, accounting for 37 percent of total workplace deaths.

In 2020, the highest rate of workplace fatalities was among fishing and hunting workers (132.1 per 100,000 full time workers), logging workers (91.7), roofers (47.0) and construction trade helpers (43.3). In contrast, the all-worker rate was 3.4 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Workplace Deaths By Selected Cause, 2019-2020 (1)

 

  2019 2020
Cause Number  Number  Percent of total
All transportation (includes vehicle crashes)   2,122 1,778 37%
     Vehicle crashes (2) 1,270 1,038 21.8
Falls   880 805 16.9
Contact with objects and equipment   732 716 15.0
Exposure to harmful substances or environments   642 672 14.1
Intentional injury by person (includes homicides)   761 651 13.7
     Homicides   454 392 8.2
Fires and explosions   99 71 1.5
Total workplace fatalities   5,333 4,764 100%

(1) From intentional and unintentional sources. Data in this chart do not add to total workplace fatalities due to the inclusion of miscellaneous injuries in the total.
(2) Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

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Large Loss Fires

The chart below shows the costliest large-loss fires, many of which involve industrial facilities and other non-residential structures. The rankings are based on property loss data from the National Fire Protection Association. For further data see NFPA statistics.

Top 10 Costliest Large-Loss Fires, 2020 (1)

($ millions)

Rank State Month Type of facility Estimated loss
1 August California "Siege"  wildfires (2) $4,200.0
2 July California Navy ship under repair 3,000.0
3 June California Online sales warehouse 300.0
4 August Minnesota Hotel under construction 80.0
5 February Georgia Apartments under construction  61.0
6 January New Jersey Apartments under construction 51.9
7 May North Carolina Manufacturing, special equipment 50.0
8 May Ohio Apartments under construction 26.1
9 July Massachusetts Cold storage warehouse 25.0
10 February Alaska Village school building 20.0

(1) Large-loss fires of $20 million or more in 2020.
(2) Includes multiple wildfires.

Note: Loss data shown here may differ from figures shown elsewhere for the same event due to differences in the date of publication, the geographical area covered and other criteria used by organizations collecting the data.

Source: National Fire Protection Association www.nfpa.org.

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