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Workers Comp Rates to Increase Average of 4%

Source: Sacramento Business Journal

Posted on 10 Dec 2009

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On Wednesday California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner stated that workers' compensation rates will be relatively stable and will increase by an average of 4 percent for 2010.

A month ago Poizner rejected an industry group’s recommendation to increase the advisory claims cost benchmark by 22.8 percent.

Poizner offered his forecast after the Sacramento-based Department of Insurance reviewed the rate changes submitted by the top 100 workers’ compensation insurers, representing 97.1 percent of the workers’ comp market.

“This is great news for the small-business owners across our state and proves that the double-digit increase I rejected was flat-out unwarranted,” Poizner said in a news release. “It’s unfair for the insurance industry’s inefficiency to lead to higher rates for employers who are struggling during the recession. This latest data reinforces my view that when forced, insurance companies have found a way to use tools already available to them to reduce costs and minimize rate changes.”

Some 59 insurers have filed new rates for next year, the release said. Of those, four companies filed for decreases ranging between 8.4 percent and 1 percent and 13 companies filed for no overall rate change. The other 42 companies filed for increases between 0.6 percent and 12 percent.

The average rate boost for the 59 was 4.1 percent.