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Posted on: May 26, 2020

Insurers have been crying foul over Governor Newsom’s executive order enacting a rebuttable presumption for frontline workers who contract COVID-19 on the job. Based on their recent performance and profit margins, it’s more like they’re crying wolf.

“The COVID-19 pandemic could not have come at a better time for the workers’ compensation insurance industry,” said the National Council on Compensation Insurance at the Annual Issues Symposium earlier this month.

Donna Glenn, Chief Actuary for the National Council on Compensation Insurance, added that thanks to “unprecedented financial strength and consistent performance” in recent years, the U.S. comp system “is well positioned to face the COVID-19 stress.”

Other Symposium highlights included:

“Even the worst scenarios should not spell doom for the industry because of near-record profits in 2019 and eye-popping reserve funding available.”

“Pretax operating gain again reached 26% in 2019, the same as 2018. That’s three times the 20-year average of 8.1%.”

“Investment gains on workers’ compensation insurance transactions topped 11% in 2019.”

And for California, the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Research Bureau says:

“Reforms since 2012 have saved $3 billion annually.”

“Medical costs per claim decreased by 24% from 2012 through the first half of 2019.”

“Average return on net worth in 2017 is 9.9% comparable to the countrywide average.”

Meanwhile, frontline workers continue to risk their lives to keep us safe and protected as the coronavirus pandemic continues. They deserve to know they’ll be protected should they become infected with COVID-19 on the job.

The insurance industry is certainly well-heeled enough to protect them.