The average long term care liability claim fell sharply between 1998 and 2007, according to Aon Corp.

Researchers at Aon, Chicago, found that the average general liability and professional loss was $1,460 per bed in 2007, down from $2,030 per bed in 1998.

The average size of a claim filed fell to $138,000, from $261,000, over the same period.

The dollar amounts fell despite the fact that claim frequency was 10.6 claims per 1,000 occupied beds, up from 6.7 claims per 1,000 occupied beds in 1997.

Changes in state laws, moves by some nursing home operators to withdraw from expensive markets and use of arbitration to resolve claims all helped to reduce claims amounts, the Aon researchers report.