24 Resources

State Comparisons

List of studies that compare workers compensation rates and benefit costs among the states, as well as some economic comparisions.

We frequently get calls for information comparing business environment, workers compensation rates and benefit costs among the states. Listed below are studies and reports that we've identified that compare states and may be of interest. When available, we show Indiana's ranking.




·     Indiana State Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Quarterly updates available from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Latest update "Gross Domestic Product by State, 3rd quarter 2015" dated March 2, 2016.

·         Indiana ranks 8th best place for business in a Forbes study dated October 21, 2015 titled "The Best States for Business." This is Indiana's first time ever in the top ten.

·         The 2015 Manufacturing and Logistics Indiana State Report shows how Indiana ranks among the states in several areas of the economy that underlie the success of manufacturing and logistics. These specific measures include: manufacturing and logistics health, human capital, the cost of benefits, the global reach and diversification of the industries, state-level productivity and innovation, the tax climate, and venture capital activities. Indiana’s manufacturing employment has risen by 4.6% since the end of the recession while the overall country declined by 2%.


For all the latest state and county figures as well as complete time series data sets related to the Indiana economy, visit these internet sites:


·         InContext, monthly online publication of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. The publication contains a section called "Monthly Metrics: Indiana's Workforce Dashboard"

·         STATS Indiana

·         Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) formerly the Indiana Department of Commerce

·         Indiana Department of Workforce Development

·         Conexus Indiana, an initiative to capitalize on emerging opportunities in advanced manufacturing and logistics, aligning resources and expertise to make Indiana a leader in these industries.

·         IU Public Policy Institute is a collaborative, multidisciplinary research institute within the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

·         INside Indiana Business




·         Indiana enjoys second lowest rates in country. The state of Oregon updated its report in October 2018 titled "2018 Oregon Workers' Compensation Premium Ranki​ng Summary." From highest to lowest, Indiana ranked 50 out of 51 jurisdictions with an index rate of $0.87. "Loaded" rate indices range from a low of $0.82 in North Dakota to a high of $3.08 in New York, with a median value of $1.70. For more information, call the Dept of Consumer & Business Services, Information Management Division, at 503.378.8254. Link to reports page​. Because states have various mixes of industries, the study calculates rates for each state using a standard mix of the 50 industries with the highest workers’ compensation claims costs in Oregon. Details about how the study was conducted can be found at About Oregon’s Workers’ Compensation Rate Ranking Study.


·       Of 51 jurisdictions, Indiana ranks fifth in number of insurance companies writing workers compensation in the state at 330.
Source: SNL Financial Report; 2017
 Number of Workers' Comp Writers - By State; produced 10/18/18


·         Indiana ranks 21st in WC direct written premium ($826 million). Source: SNL Financial Report; 2017 direct written premium; produced 05/01/18


·         The Work L​oss Data Institute (WLDI) issued a media release dated 12/21/11 on its study titled 2012 State Report Cards for Workers’ Comp. This is the most recent report as of February 2017. The report categorizes states into six tiers. Tier I (four states) performed the best. Indiana is one of five states in tier II which indicates an average grade of A (or B+ or better) and a trend going down (same as the 2008 study).


·         In an 11/01/09 online article titled "States of Disparity", Risk & Insurance reporter Peter Rousmaniere looked at four factors that indicate how well a state's workers' comp system may be working. Indiana tied for fourth. He analyzed data from OSHA, BLS, state of Oregon, and Actuarial and Technical Solutions. Those factors were adjusted by giving additional weight to the amount of premium charged to the employer, and the benefits paid to claimants. The states are ranked by their composite score.


·         Indiana ranks 5th  best out of 33 states in accident year combined ratio – by posting 2017 accident year combined ratio of 83. Results range from a low of 78 in Alaska to a high of 129 in Oregon, with a countrywide average of 93. 

A healthy market attracts insurance companies to write in the state and promotes competition in the marketplace – good for employers who are the consumers of workers compensation insurance. 

Source: NCCI Financial Call data used in Calendar-Accident Year Underwriting Results, evaluated as of 12/31/17; 33 states available as of 12/15/18; NCCI website as of 12/15/2018.


·         Indiana expense ratio for 2017 was 30.2 (2nd best) compared to the average countrywide ratio of 35.8%.
Source: NCCI Financial Call data used in Calendar-Accident Year Underwriting Results, evaluated as of 12/31/17; 33 states available as of 12/15/18; NCCI website as of 12/15/2018.; NCCI website as of 12/15/2018.


·        An NAIC report, Indiana’s workers compensation insurance industry shows a relatively favorable return on net worth of 14.1% compared to the countrywide average of 9.5% in 2017. Over the ten year period (2008-2017) Indiana average is 8.2% compared to the countrywide average of 6.6%.

At a higher level, the report compares return on net worth in the P/C insurance industry to all industries. “Over the period of 2008 to 2017, the property/casualty insurance industry had an average return on net worth of 5.2%, compared to an estimated 13.1% for all industries, based on results reported by Fortune.”

Disclaimers: NAIC recommends that readers be aware of caveats and limitations on the uses of these data and should read disclaimers in introduction of the report. “The NAIC report is intended to be an important starting point that could be combined with other information in a complete market performance analysis.” Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) "Rep​o​rt on Profitability by Line by State in 2017​​" published 10/02/18; pages 2, 129, 130,  152, 212


·         UWC, Inc. - Strategic Services on Unemployment & Workers' Compensation publishes Fiscal Data for State Workers' Compensation Systems - Bulletin - 2012. This Bulletin reports on state workers’ compensation benefit payments and trends from 2001 to 2010. The Bulletin provides new data for 2010 and revised data for 2006-2009. Website: http://www.uwcstrategy.org.


·        The National Academy of Social Insurance produces an annual report, titled Workers Compensation: Benefits, Coverage, and Costs, 2016​ published in October 2018. This report provides a benchmark of to facilitate policymaking and comparisons with other social insurance and employee benefit programs. The lack of uniform reporting of states’ experiences with workers’ compensation makes it necessary to piece together data from various sources to develop estimates of benefits paid, costs to employers, and the number of workers covered by workers’ compensation.


  • The IDOI​ licenses over 122,000 insurance agents. Of that number, approximately 40% reside in Indiana and the remainder are classified as out of state agents. Source: IDOI email on Bulletin 169, 04/01/09




·         The United Health Foundation produces an annual report titled "America’s Health Rankings™." The 2011 report indicates the Indiana ranking is 38th of all states.




·         Indiana ranks 16th best in a George Mason University study dated March, 2013 titled “Freedom in the 50 States, An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom”. The ranks the states on their public policies that affect individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres.

  • Standard & Poor's Rating Service raised Indiana's credit rating to its highest-ever, from to "AA+" from "AAA." S&P sights property tax reform, low-overall state debt levels, a stable and diversifying economy, and relatively conservative biennial budget as reasons for the upgrade. A better credit rating allows schools and other agencies to borrow money at lower interest rates.
    Other states with an AAA credit rating (the highest S&P rating) are Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Utah and Virginia.
    Source: IBJ Daily e-newsletter, 07/21/08
  • Indiana ranks 10th best in the nation for "business friendly" tax systems, according to the 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index​ released by the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation in September 2018. The rankings are based on measurements that include the corporate tax, individual income tax, sales tax, unemployment tax and property tax.
  • Indiana ranks 10th in number of local governments with 3,000 units and 10,000 elected officials.
    Source: IBJ article, page 11, 07/28/08
  • Jurisdictions: Indiana has 92 counties, 1,008 townships, over 550 cities and towns, nearly 300 school corporations, and over 900 special districts with taxing or bonding authority.
  • Township Duties - trustees have three primary functions:
    • poor relief
    • fire protection property
    • tax assessment
    • as well as cemetery maintenance and weed control



Logistics ("Crossroads of America")

Indiana touts a central location that is well connected. It is home to more than 4,700 miles of mainline rail track, three international airports, and more than 11,000 total highway miles. Each year, more than 1.1 billion tons of freight travel through Indiana, making it the fifth-busiest state for commercial freight traffic in the nation. Indiana also has the only statewide port system that provides international connections via the Great Lakes and Ohio- Mississippi River system.

Source: Area Development Online, November 2012


In terms of highway density (measured in road miles per 100 square land miles), Indiana is more than double the national average.








All roads






U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts


Indiana Trivia

  • Became the 19th State on December 11, 1816
  • Nickname: The Hoosier State
  • Geographic area: 36,291 square miles (38th in size among states)
  • Population: 6 million per 2000 census (14th among states)



Archived Information


The Nov-Dec 2009 issue of InContext, in the article titled "GDP Dynamics Shed Light on Economic Downturn in Indiana" reports that Indiana was among the most hard-hit states through the initial stages of the recession, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP). Indiana’s GDP (adjusted for inflation) declined 0.6 percent between 2007 and 2008. This mark ranked 43rd among states.



The actuarial firm, Actuarial & Technical Solutions, Inc. prepares an annual "Workers Compensation State Rankings" report. The latest was released in December 2009.

The 2009 Edition, which contains 2009 results from lowest to highest, Indiana ranked 3rd out of 45 jurisdictions in WC comparative costs with a rate of 1.97. The lowest state was Utah at 1.60 and the highest state was Montana at 6.64. The national average was 3.71. Indiana ranked 15th in WC average statutory benefit (wage replacement). For more information, contact Actuarial & Technical Solutions, Inc. at 516.471.8655. Website: http://www.actuarialsolutions.com.



Michigan State University, Workers Compensation Center, School of Labor and Industrial Relations, in 2005 produced a report titled "Workers Compensation Information". The report gathers information from multiple sources: BLS, NASI, NAIC, and state of Oregon.



NCCI produced a report in response to a Florida legislature inquiry that compares loss cost rates by state. The comparison uses a normalized payroll distribution from 1999 data, and presents an average voluntary loss cost rate for all business classifications by state. From highest to lowest, Indiana ranked 37 out of 37 jurisdictions with an average rate of $0.91. The highest state was Florida with an average rate of $2.75. An article on the report is published in On Workers Compensation newsletter, April 2001 edition.


Recent economic analysis suggests that a large portion of WC costs are passed on to consumers through increased prices and to other workers in the form of reduced wages.

source: New Approaches to Disability in the Workplace, by Terry Thomason, John F. Burton, Jr., and Douglas E. Hyatt



The Indiana Chamber of Commerce compiled a table titled "2002 Worker's Compensation State Ratings - Temporary Total Disability Benefits" as of January 1, 2002. Data obtained from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce publication 2002 Analysis of Worker's Compensation Laws. From highest to lowest benefits, Indiana ranked 29 out of 51 jurisdictions with an weighted maximum weekly benefit of $593. The lowest state was Mississippi at $360 and the highest state was Iowa at $1,161. The weighting is based on the American Federation of Teachers Cost of Living Index (AFTCOL). Website: http://www.indianachamber.com



Terry Thomason, professor at Rhode Island University, and John F. Burton, professor at Rutgers University and editor of Workers' Compensation Policy Review, published an analysis in the Nov/Dec 2001 issue titled "The Adequacy of Cash Benefits Prescribed by Workers' Compensation Statutes." The purpose of the article is to examine the generosity of cash benefits, how the generosity has changed over time, and how generosity varies across jurisdictions. Website: http://www.workerscompresources.com

Terry Thomason, professor at Rhode Island University, and John F. Burton, professor at Rutgers University and editor of Workers' Compensation Policy Review, published an analysis in the March/April 2002 issue titled "The Employers' Costs of Workers' Compensation Insurance in Ontario and Other Canadian and U.S. Jurisdictions." The purpose of the article is to examine the relative efficiency of WC delivery systems. They define a state as relatively efficient if it has high levels of cash and medical benefits and a high frequency of injuries coupled with low insurance rates. For the period studied (1975-1995), Indiana ranked as the most efficient (1.4 value), and Texas ranked the least efficient (0.4 value). Website: http://www.workerscompresources.com


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