Mass. to Hear 13.4% Workers’ Comp Rate Cut

April 4, 2007

Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Nonnie Burnes will convene a public hearing on a proposed 13.4 percent reduction in workers’ compensation rates at 10:00 a.m. on April 5, at the Division of Insurance, One South Station, Boston.

The Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (WCRIB) submitted a bid for a 13.4 percent rate decrease effective Sept. 1, 2007.

If the WCRIB’s filing is approved, workers’ compensation rates in Massachusetts would be 64 percent less than they were in 1991 when the state’s workers’ compensation reform law was passed, according to WCRIB, which is the licensed rating organization that files rates with the Division of Insurance on behalf of insurers.

Rates can go down because workplace injury claims have, according to Paul Meagher, president of the WCRIB. “From the combined efforts of insurers, employers, workers and regulators, the frequency of workplace injuries has continued to decline in Massachusetts. As a result, overall costs for both indemnity and medical claims in Massachusetts have declined in spite of continual increases in average claim severity and medical cost inflation.”

Meagher credited insurers for contributing to the decrease in claim frequency “by working with employers to provide safe work environments for employees.”

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