Delaware Approves 14% Hike in Workers’ Comp Voluntary Market Loss Costs

February 21, 2014

Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart announced today that she has approved the re-submission of the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau (DCRB) workers’ compensation rate filing regarding the residual market rate and the voluntary market loss cost.

The commissioner and Ratepayer Advocate Fred Townsend, along with their actuaries, concurred that the increases of 11.4 percent in residual market rates and 14 percent in voluntary market loss costs met the requirements in Delaware law that rates must not be inadequate, excessive, or unfairly discriminatory. DCRB’s earlier filing had called for a larger increase.

The effective date of the increase is retroactive to Dec. 1, 2013, for new and renewal business.

Delaware Department of Insurance said the annual filing was carefully reviewed and analyzed by the Delaware Insurance Department’s actuaries, as well as the ratepayer advocate’s actuary. The lower increases approved reflect a more appropriate balance in the cost of insurance premiums compared to the cost of the system, according to the announcement.

“While three different actuaries have all concluded that an increase is indicated, I must weigh more than actuarial considerations in making my decision. The difficulties seen by Delaware employers as emphasized during the three public information sessions, the need for our economy to grow, and the rising costs faced by insurers must all be included in my final decision,” Commissioner Stewart said in a statement.

“This decision represents a savings of more than $45 million to Delaware employers from the original submission. We encourage the DCRB and legislative leaders to continue to work toward a common goal of identifying and addressing the underlying cost drivers in Delaware’s workers’ compensation rates.”

Commissioner Stewart said she believes that continued momentum behind legislative reforms introduced in 2013 and those sought in 2014 to ensure that future rate requests are small will help to keep Delaware’s economy strong and attract and retain businesses.

Stewart added, “Unfortunately, a rate increase is necessary this year for worker’s compensation insurance in Delaware. My commitment to the consumer is unwavering; and I will continue to work with all parties to create further reform that we expect will result in a reduction in the overall cost drivers in the worker’s compensation system.”

Source: Delaware Department of Insurance

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