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22.8 Percent Rate Hike Recommended by CA Workers Comp Bureau

Source: Business Insurance

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Posted on 14 Aug 2009

A 22.8% pure premium rate increase is being recommended by the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California and, if approved, would become effective January 1 2010.

The recommendation is driven by rising medical expenses, along with anticipated cost increases stemming from recent California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board decisions in what is known as the Almaraz/Guzman and Ogilvie cases, the WCIRB said in a statement.

It is up to Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner to decide whether he will pass the recommendation on to insurers, who are free to set their own rates in California.

The commissioner last month rejected the WCIRB’s previous rate recommendation. He said he rejected that requested rate increase because he found insurers were inefficient and not applying available tools to control costs.

Given that finding, the commissioner said he will closely scrutinize the WCIRB’s new request.

If the full 22.8 percent increase is approved by the commissioner, pure premium rates in January still would be 55 percent lower on average than in 2003, the WCIRB said.


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