Strategic Insights: Our 2021 Claims Experience

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The “New Normal”

As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are providing this update on its impact on workers’ compensation claims. 2021 was a transitional year, as we learned to adapt to what has been labeled as the “new normal.”

Consistent with our 2020 claims report, “It’s a Pandemic,” this analysis reviews claims received from April 1 through December 31, 2021, compared to the same time frame in 2020, with all data valued at the end of each period. Likewise, non-COVID claims in this study comprise all claims received by CorVel during the designated period that are not classified as COVID (Nature of Injury Code 83). Claims classified as COVID in this report have this Nature of Injury Code. The 2021 data in this report reflects only our customers who were presented with claims in both years.

Overall, the gradual return to the new normal resulted in a 6% increase in all workers’ compensation claims in 2021 compared to 2020. Separating COVID claims from all reported claims, we found that COVID claims decreased by 38% and non-COVID claims increased by 14%. Top industries for COVID claims in 2021 remained consistent with 2020: health care and social assistance, public administration, and finance and insurance. Similarly, top states remained consistent for COVID claims (California, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Texas), except for New York, which saw an 83% decrease in 2021.