Workers’ Comp Statistics for 2021

  • Published Jun 06, 2022

Like any industry, workers’ comp has trends, too. Workers’ compensation claims statistics prove it. While you may not be checking your phone for insurance trends on the hour, staying up to date with workers’ comp statistics and trends can help your business get better coverage and maybe even save money on premiums.

What’s New in Workers’ Compensation Claims Statistics in 2021?

In 2021, lots of workplaces continued to be affected by COVID-19 and by the Great Resignation. Big changes in the world of work also mean shifts in workers’ compensation insurance, so in 2021 we saw:

  • COVID-19 exceptions and debates.  COVID has created mask fashions and a whole new vocabulary. Something else it’s done is to make insurers take another look at what is and isn’t covered. The sticky thing is that pre-COVID occupational illnesses were covered by workers’ comp but workers weren’t covered if they caught a virus like the yearly flu at work. Now, many states are creating rules to allow COVID to be covered.
  • Gig work changes. Employees are still hesitant to head back to pre-pandemic office life, and that means insurance has had to adapt. In 2021, 3% of U.S. adults made the majority of their income through gig work and interest in gig jobs has grown. These types of work are not usually covered by payroll, meaning they may be pushing payroll down at some companies.
  • Telehealth. Maybe in the past year you’ve checked in with a doctor or specialist by video conference. In 2021, about 17% of all office visits and outpatient claims involved telehealth, which is also expected to lower health costs by 2 to 3% in some populations. In insurance, lower medical costs can push down insurance costs over time. We’ve got our fingers crossed.

The last year or so has meant less awkward small talk at the doctor’s office — because you’re meeting online — maybe some new faces at work, and lots of changes in careers. All of that is having an impact on your workers’ comp insurance behind the scenes.

What Workers’ Comp Statistics Do I Need to Know?

Overall, job injuries dropped, but that may change as workers head back to in-person work. And some jobs actually saw a jump in injuries. Let’s take a look at some recent statistics that could make a difference in the insurance policy your business needs:

  • Job injuries. The government’s most recent data is from 2020, when there were 4,764 fatal work injuries, a 10.7% drop from 2019 and the lowest numbers since 2013. There were fewer non-fatal injuries and illnesses, too, with roughly 2.7 million such injuries reported in the private sector in 2020, a drop from the 2.8 million reported in 2019.
  • Some jobs are more dangerous than others. Those in transportation and material moving or construction and extraction jobs made up 47.4% of all fatal workplace injuries. For nonfatal job injuries, nursing assistants had a hard year, with 96,480 cases where a nursing assistant needed at least one day off work due to an injury or illness. That’s a jaw-dropping jump of 249.7% in cases from the year before. For registered nurses, the incidence of injuries and illnesses requiring one or more days off work jumped 290.8% from 2019 to 2020. No wonder we call them heroes. Injured workers overall needed to take more time off work, too, with the median number of days jumping from 8 in 2019 to 12 in 2020.
  • Minorities face additional barriers to safety in the workplace. In 2019, Latino and Hispanic workers suffered a greater share (20.4%) of fatal injuries than many other groups. In 2020, that number jumped to 22.5%, showing there’s more work to be done. For women, the number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses that meant one or more days off work jumped by 68% between 2019 to 2020.
  • COVID caused us to miss work. The number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses that required at least one day of work off was 1,176,340 in 2020, a 32.4% jump over the previous year. About 390,020 of these cases were due to viruses, including the COVID virus.

It’s no coincidence that you haven’t been able to scroll through a news feed in the past year without reading about COVID. The virus, while we’re getting a handle on it, will continue to affect our society for years. And that includes an impact on your insurance.

Why Should I Keep Tabs on Workers’ Comp Data?

If you’re like many business owners, seeing the trends can help you look ahead. For example, seeing which industries and jobs have high rates of injury can help you see what could be impacting your insurance quotes. Transportation jobs already lead to lots of claims, so if you’ve got delivery drivers on your payroll you may want to think twice about hiring Johnny Knoxville to deliver your products.

And the current trends of lower injury rates and fatalities overall? That’s great news for your workers’ comp insurance quote. It can mean that in the future you could be seeing more affordable rates. If you’ve been thinking about switching your provider, the lower injury rates and the changes in the industry can mean a better quote for you. If it’s been a while since you shopped around for workers’ compensation coverage, you might want to get a few quotes this year.

How Can Cerity Help You?

At Cerity, we’ve set it up so you can get a fast, free quote and sign up or switch to workers’ comp insurance with us in three minutes. Seriously. It’s easier than signing up for a new streaming service.

With Cerity, you only need to think about workers’ comp once and then you can forget it. We keep on top of changes. We know about workers’ compensation so you don’t have to. And it all starts as low as $20 per month for coverage, so the premiums won’t keep you up at night, either. We cover you without the worry and time and expense, so you have peace of mind.

We’re not some insurance behemoth, either. We’re a business, like you. We get it. You’re passionate about your business, not insurance. Well, we bring all our passion for workers’ comp to the table along with our more than 100 years of experience, so you’re free to focus on what matters to you.

If you’re interested in workers’ comp policies that work hard for you, try Cerity. To get a free quote online, visit our workers’ comp quote tool.

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The information provided is intended to provide a general overview. This information is not legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Cerity® makes no warranties for the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of the information provided, and will not be responsible for any actions taken based on the information contained herein. If you have legal questions or need legal advice, please consult an attorney.