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6 Workers’ Compensation Insurance Statistics (That May Surprise You)

Workers’ compensation may not strike you as the most interesting industry. But you’d be wrong! In this post, we’ll be taking a look at some workers’ compensation insurance statistics that are intriguing, interesting and just might surprise you.

Let’s get into it, and discuss the top 6 most interesting worker’s compensation statistics we’ve found.

1. Vehicle Crashes Are the Most Expensive Workplace Injury

According to data gathered from 2018-2019, vehicle crashes are the most expensive type of workplace injury, on average. On average, claims for motor vehicle crashes cost $81,971 in workers’ compensation costs. The top 5 most expensive types of workplace injuries were as follows:

  1. Motor vehicle crashes – $81,971 average per incident
  2. Burns – $58,284 average per incident
  3. Slips & falls – $47,681 average per incident
  4. Caught/compressed between equipment/objects – $45,255 average per incident
  5. Struck by equipment/objects – $39,509 average per incident

2. Nursing Assistants Have the Highest Percent of Claims

Nursing assistants claim the top spot for the most claims due to injury and illness. According to the above-referenced III study, 8.2% of nursing assistants filed a workers’ comp claim in 2020. The full list of the top 10 are as follows:

  1. Nursing assistants – 8.2% of claims
  2. Registered nurses – 6.7% of claims
  3. Laborers (freight, stock, material movers) – 5.5% of claims
  4. Truck drivers – 3.7% of claims
  5. Stockers/order fillers – 2.7% of claims
  6. Licensed vocational/practice nurses – 2.5% of claims
  7. Retail salespeople – 2.4% of claims
  8. Personal care aides – 2.4% of claims
  9. Production workers – 2.3% of claims
  10. General maintenance/repair workers – 2% of claims

In total, these 10 occupations make up 38.3% of all of the workers’ comp claims filed in 2020.

3. 73% of States Require Workers’ Comp for 1+ Employees

According to a compilation of workers’ compensation laws from NFIB, 36 states plus Washington, D.C. require businesses to pay for workers’ compensation for all employees, or if they have at least one employee of any kind.

Only 13 states have policies outside of this standard, and most of these require workers’ comp if you have between three to five employees. Texas is the biggest outlier here, since workers’ compensation is optional in the state, unless it's’ required by federal law for specific projects.

Kansas is also an interesting case. It’s the only state that requires workers' comp not based on employee totals, but on payroll – if you pay out more than $20,000 to employees, you must pay for workers’ comp.

This excludes some things like payments to owners, the owner’s family members, and sole proprietors.

4. 92% of States Have Private Workers’ Comp Markets

Today, 92% of all states* have private workers’ compensation insurance markets, meaning that private insurers can compete to provide workers’ comp to business owners. There are only 4 states nationwide that prohibit this:

  • Ohio
  • Wyoming
  • Washington
  • South Dakota

These states are “monopolistic.” In other words, there’s no private market, and employers must buy workers’ compensation directly from a government-operated insurance fund, such as the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Bureau if you’re an Ohio business owner.

*Also includes Washington, D.C.

5. COVID-19 Took the Top Spot for Work-Related Injuries in 2020

According to the National Safety Council, the category of “Exposure To Harmful Substances and Environments” was the #1 cause of work-related injuries in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The breakdown of the top 5 causes for 2020 were:

  1. Exposure to harmful substances/environments – 36.1% (424,360 cases)
  2. Overexertion/bodily reaction (strains/sprains/repetitive stress) – 21.7% (255,490 cases)
  3. Falls, slips, trips – 18% (211,640 cases)
  4. Contact with objects and equipment – 16.7% (196,140 cases)
  5. Transportation incidents – 3.5% (41,010 cases)

6. Companies in 57% of States Pay Less Than $1.50 Per $100,000 Of Payroll

In a recent breakdown of the cost of workers’ compensation by state, we found that the majority of states pay less than $1.50 per $100,000 of payroll for workers’ compensation.*

Here's the overall premium index rate breakdown for all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., per $100,000 of payroll.

  • $2.50 to $2.99 – 2% (1 state)
  • $2.00 to $2.49 – 8% (4 states)
  • $1.50 to $1.99 – 33% (17 states)
  • Under $1.50 – 57% (29 states)

And the costs for a few of the most populous states in the US:

  1. California – $2.00 to $2.49
  2. New York – $2.00 to $2.49
  3. Pennsylvania – $1.50 to $1.99
  4. Texas – Under $1.50
  5. Florida – Under $1.50

*Median premium index rate, 2020 data

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Interested? Don't wait. Get a quote online today. We’re always here to help small business owners get the assistance they need.


Tags: workers compensation, workers compensation insurance