Milliman: Black-Lung Liabilities Top $9 Billion as Coal Industry Shrinks – by William Rabb (Claims Journal – June 9, 2022)

The U.S. coal industry may be shrinking rapidly as the country shifts to renewable energy, but insurers’ and self-insured companies’ liabilities for black-lung occupational disease claims have ballooned – to an estimated $9 billion and perhaps more than $14 billion.

pastedGraphic.pngThat’s according to a recent report from Milliman, the global actuarial and consulting firm. The study’s authors took a first-ever look at the cost of existing and future claims, payments for which will continue for years to come.

The report did not name the insurers that owe the most. But historically, some of the largest P&C carriers have insured against black-lung claims. Most of the claims come from miners in Kentucky, West Virginia and other coal-rich Appalachia states.

“We just wanted to raise awareness and help develop solutions to protect the financial solvency of the non-trust fund entities on paying federal black lung liabilities,” said Travis Grulkowski, a Milliman actuary and one of the authors of the report.

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