Each year, the Department of Labor’s Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (“DLHWC”) creates “report cards” for the insurance carriers offering Defense Base Act insurance. Essentially, the DLHWC looks at two things:
- Timeliness of DBA First Reports of Injury; and
- Timeliness of DBA First Payments of Benefits.
According to the DLHWC’s website, it adopted particular performance goals under the Government Performance Results Act to improve program effectiveness “by facilitating prompt delivery of benefits to injured workers and their families.” Keep in mind that the goal is “prompt delivery of benefits.”
DLHWC shares data reported by the insurance carriers. Specifically, the DLHWC shares:
The First Report data, aggregated by insurance carrier, shows the percent of reports received in the DLHWC District Offices within 30, 60, and 90 days of the date of the injury or death, or the date of the employer’s knowledge of the injury and the onset of disability, whichever is later. Similarly, the First Payment data, aggregated by insurance carrier, shows the percent of first payments issued within 30, 60, and 90 days after the worker becomes disabled for work or after the worker’s death.
If you go to this hyperlinked website, you will find tables created by the DLHWC for each of the big DBA insurance companies. Below, I took the same information that appears in the DLHWC-created tables and rendered insurer-specific line graphs. Each line graph identifies the percentage of cases reported and paid over the course of several years. Just like the rows on the DLHWC’s tables, my line graphs show the percentage of cases reported and paid within 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days.
Please note that this is the first in a series of posts about the DBA report cards. I’ll provide insurer-specific graphs in each post. Starting with today’s post, the graphs will be alphabetized according to each insurance company’s identity.
ACE American Insurance Company:
Based on the information that ACE reported to the DLHWC since 2009, the delays for reporting injuries have generally improved over time. Case reporting within 30 days improved from 73% to 96% since 2009. The percentage of claimants first paid benefits within 30 days increased after the 2009 fiscal year and then hovered between 60% and 64% between 2010 and 2013. A sharp drop-off occurred in 2014, with only 53% of cases paid within 30 days as opposed to 64% the year before. The percentage of cases first paid within 30 days increased in 2015 to 59% which is slightly better than the 57% starting point in 2009.
The 90-day line graph is very interesting because of 2015. ACE reported 100% of cases within 90 days–the highest percentage ever. At the same time, ACE paid 77% of cases within 90 days–the lowest percentage ever. Indeed, the 2015 drop in the percentage of cases paid within 90 days is the steepest one-year decline in payments among all of the insurance companies since 2009.
The first line graph for AIG, the 30-day graph, shows what a difference a year makes. Between 2009 and 2010, AIG greatly increased the percentage of claims that were reported within 30 days. As of 2015, the percentage of claims reported and paid within 30 days reached its highest limit with 89% of cases reported in 30 days and 58% of cases paid within 30 days.
Likewise, the 60-day graph shows a dramatic improvement between 2009 and 2010. Since that time, AIG reached a peak reporting percentage in 2015 (94%) and the second-highest percentage of cases paid within 60 days (75% in 2015 as compared to 77% in 2012).
Finally, the 90-day line graph demonstrates a subtle difference from the other AIG graphs. The greatest increase of cases reported in 90 days occurred between 2009 and 2010. On the other hand, the greatest percent increase in the number of cases paid in 90 days occurred between 2011 and 2012. All the same, AIG’s best 90-day reporting percentage occurred in 2015 (96%), and its best 90-day payment percentage occurred in 2012 and 2015 (tied at 83%).
To be continued…
Attribution: Top photograph courtesy of Flickr user Morag Riddell.