R.I. Workers’ Comp Rate Cut to be Heard at Nov. 16 Hearing

September 28, 2005

Workers’ compensation carriers have filed for a slight 2.3 percent overall reduction in loss costs in Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation has scheduled a public hearing for Nov. 16 on the proposal, which was submitted by the industry rating organization, the National Council on Compensation Insurance. The new loss costs and rating values are proposed to be effective Jan. 1, 2006.

In January, average loss costs for workers’ comp were reduced 20.2 percent, after NCCI had filed for an 18.3 percent reduction.

At that time, the NCCI filing was challenged by the state attorney general’s office, which recommended that most loss costs be cut by an average 27.5 percent.

NCCI’s figures in its filing last year were also criticized by the state’s leading workers’ comp writer, Beacon Mutual, which controls more than 75 percent of the state’s market, although the insurer later declined to be a formal party in the hearing process.

Prior to January, workers’ comp rates in the state had not changed since 1998, when the state approved a 9.4 percent to 10.5 percent rate reduction. While the industry made a filing in 2001, lawmakers prohibited consideration of the filing at that time.

Since then, the state has changed its law to mandate that all employers with three or more employees, who had been excused from the mandate, be required to purchase coverage.

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