Public Sector Reports Explosion in Workers Compensation, Liability Claims

December 1, 2008

Liability and workers compensation claims against the public sector are multiplying at an unprecedented pace, according to a report from a tracking database maintained by a risk management research organization.

In 2008, the total claim count in the PERI Data Exchange database reached unprecedented levels with the number of workers compensation claims increasing 342 percent and liability claims 322 percent over the same period in 2007.

The Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), a nonprofit research institute, maintains the PERI Data Exchange as a risk management benchmarking and performance management program that helps public sector organizations analyze liability and workers compensations claims.

PERI said that the number of public entities submitting claims to the Data Exchange also realized considerable growth with participation increasing more than 50 percent for workers compensation and more than 68 percent for liability.

“The record growth that we have seen in the Data Exchange this year signifies increased awareness on the part of government entities of the value of benchmarking and performance measurement to control costs,” said Mary Stewart, director of Research and Development at PERI. “In this current economic climate, government entities of all sizes are challenged to find more ways to curb costs while maintaining expected levels of service. The Data Exchange is gaining broad recognition as a powerful tool for assisting governments in identifying areas where improvements can be made to reduce expenditures.”

Participants in the Data Exchange include cities and towns, counties, higher education institutions, housing authorities, public school districts, public transit agencies, special districts, and state governments from 29 states. Many of these government entities are represented by public entity risk pools. Currently, 51 risk pools are contributing workers compensation data and 26 pools are providing liability data for the Data Exchange.

Source: PERI Data Exchange

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