Calendar year 2021 is the fifth consecutive year that the U.S. workers’ compensation insurance market posted a combined ratio below 90 percent and the eighth consecutive year of underwriting profitability, according to performance metrics released by the National Council on Compensation Insurance on May 10. The information is from NCCI’s State of the Line Report and was delivered during NCCI’s 2022 Annual Insights Symposium.

NCCI metrics indicate that private carriers again posted a combined ratio of 87 percent. Private carrier plus state fund net written premium increased about 1.0 percent to $43 billion in 2021. Private carrier premium alone was $38 billion.

“The strength and resilience of the workers’ compensation system is a point of pride for all stakeholders,” said Bill Donnell, president and CEO of NCCI.

“As the workforce and workplaces are changing, the industry must step up again to fulfill its noble responsibility: helping injured workers,” he said.

“Strong employment and significant wage growth are fueling workers compensation payroll increases,” NCCI Chief Actuary Donna Glenn added. “We have a remarkably strong and healthy system right now.”

Glenn delivered the key insights from the State of the Line Report, including:

-Lost-time claim frequency data suggests the long-term decline has continued, despite a rise in frequency in 2021. Since 2019, frequency declined slightly.

-The 2021 changes in indemnity and medical claim severity are expected to be flat.

-The number of Covid-19 claims declined in 2021 relative to the prior year.

-Workers’ compensation reserves grew to $16 billion redundant as of year-end 2021.

The State of the Line Report and State of the Line Guide are available now at