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, 2007-2016

($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
2007 $40,610,991 -2.9% 101.7 6.3 pts. 98 -13 pts.
2008 36,939,016 -9.0 101.5 -0.2 104 6
2009 32,247,870 -12.7 107.9 6.4 108 4
2010 31,643,087 -1.9 116.1 8.2 115 7
2011 35,664,230 12.7 117.6 1.5 112 -3
2012 38,947,491 9.2 110.4 -7.2 104 -8
2013 41,147,216 5.6 103.0 -7.4 99 -5
2014 43,753,885 6.3 102.5 -0.6 95 -4
2015 45,355,102 3.7 95.5 -6.9 96 1
2016 45,620,510 0.6 95.6 0.1 98 (6) 2

(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 Occupations With The Largest Number Of Injuries And Illnesses, 2015 (1)

 

Rank Occupation  Number Percent of total
1 Laborers (nonconstruction) 59,010 6.5%
2 Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer 49,260 5.5
3 Janitors and cleaners 42,740 4.7
4 Nursing assistants 37,370 4.1
5 General maintenance and repair workers 30,020 3.3
6 Police and sheriff's patrol officers 29,670 3.3
7 Retail salespersons 27,840 3.1
8 Registered nurses 21,420 2.4
9 Light truck and delivery service drivers 24,780 2.7
10 Stock clerks and order fillers 21,420 2.4
  Total, top 10 343,530 38.1%
  Total, all occupations 902,160 100.0%

(1) Nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving days off from work for private industries; excludes farms with fewer than 11 employees.

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

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Top 10 Writers Of Workers' Compensation Insurance By Direct Premiums Written, 2015

($000)

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written (1) Market share (2)
1 Travelers Companies Inc. $4,467,425 7.8%
2 Hartford Financial Services 3,324,361 5.8
3 AmTrust Financial Services  2,972,901 5.2
4 Zurich Insurance Group (3) 2,851,695 5.0
5 Liberty Mutual  2,481,479 4.3
6 Berkshire Hathaway Inc.  2,479,354 4.3
7 State Insurance Fund Workers' Comp (NY) 2,437,325 4.3
8 Chubb Ltd. (4) 2,368,918 4.1
9 American International Group  2,345,247 4.1
10 State Compensation Insurance Fund (CA) 1,638,849 2.9

(1) Before reinsurance transactions, includes some state funds.
(2) Based on U.S. total, includes territories.
(3) Data for Farmers Insurance Group of Companies and Zurich Financial Group (which owns Farmers' management company) are reported separately by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
(4) Chubb Ltd. data reflect the 2015 merger with Ace Ltd.

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

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Causes of Workplace Deaths

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the highest rate of workplace fatalities in 2015 was among logging workers, with 132.7 deaths per 100,000 full-time employees, followed by fishing workers, aircraft pilots and flight engineers, and roofers. The all-industry average was 3.4 deaths per 100,000 workers.

 

Workplace Deaths By Selected Cause, 2014-2015 (1)

  2014 2015
Cause Number  Number  Percent of total
All transportation (includes vehicle crashes) 1,984 2,054 42%
     Vehicle crashes (2) 1,157 1,264 24
Falls 818 800 17
Assaults and violence (includes homicides) 765 703 15
     Homicides 409 417 9
Contact with objects and equipment 715 722 15
Exposure to harmful substances or environments 390 424 9
Fires and explosions 137 121 3
Total workplace fatalities 4,821 4,836 100%

(1) From intentional and unintentional sources.
(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 charts below show 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 In U.S. History

($ millions)

      Estimated loss (1)
Rank Date Location/event Dollars when occurred In 2015 dollars (2)
1 Sep. 11, 2001 World Trade Center (terrorist attacks) $33,400 (3) $44,770 (3)
2 Apr. 18, 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire 350 9,160
3 Oct. 8-9, 1871 Great Chicago Fire 168 3,360
4 Oct. 20, 1991 Oakland, CA, firestorm 1,500 2,650
5 Oct. 20, 2007 San Diego County, CA, The Southern California Firestorm 1,800 2,030
6 Nov. 9, 1872 Great Boston Fire 75 1,530
7 Sep. 12, 2015 Valley Fire, CA, wildland urban interface fire 1,500 1,500
8 Oct. 23, 1989 Pasadena, Texas, polyolefin plant 750 1,420
9 May 4, 2000 Los Alamos, NM, Cerro Grande wildland fire 1,000 1,420
10 Oct. 25, 2003 Julian, CA, Cedar wildland fire  1,100 1,320

(1) Loss estimates are from National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) records. The list is limited to fires for which some reliable dollar loss estimates exists.
(2) Adjustment to 2013 dollars made by the NFPA using the Consumer Price Index, including the U.S. Census Bureau's estimates of the index for historical times; adjusted to 2015 dollars by the Insurance Information Institute using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator.
(3) Differs from inflation-adjusted estimates made by other organizations due to the use of different deflators.

Source: Reproduced with permission from Large-Loss Fires in the United States, 2015 by Stephen G. Badger, ©National Fire Protection Association. www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics.

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Top 10 Costliest Large-Loss Fires, 2015

($ millions)

Rank Month State Type of facility Estimated loss
1 September California Wildland urban interface fire $1,500.0
2 September California Wildland urban interface fire 450.0
3 April Kentucky Appliance parts warehouse 110.0
4 April Nebraska Military fighter jet 62.0
5 March Pennsylvania Glass manufacturing plant 55.0
6 June Pennsylvania Fertilizer manufacturing plant 40.0
7 July California Church 31.0
8 September California Silk screening product plant 31.0
9 March Idaho Grain processing plant 24.0
10 August Washington Wildland urban interface fire          22.0

Source: Reproduced with permission from Large-Loss Fires in the United States, 2015 by Stephen G. Badger, ©National Fire Protection Association. www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics.

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