Vermont Employers Enjoy Declining Workers’ Compensation Prices

April 19, 2007

Workers’ compensation insurance is costing less for most Vermont employers since new rates became effective April 1.

The Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration approved loss cost and rate reductions that affect rates charged by private insurers as well as the prices charged by the state’s high risk pool.

According to Commissioner Paulette Thabault, the base figure known as loss costs has decreased this year by an average of 0.6 percent in the voluntary market.

In addition, workers’ compensation rates will decrease by an average of 7.9 percent for risks in the state-administered assigned risk pool
where employers unable to find coverage in the voluntary market buy insurance.

Thabault noted that many of Vermont’s small businesses stand to benefit from the declining rates. “Small businesses are a vital sector of Vermont’s economy and this rate decrease will be good news for small employers, especially those in the assigned risk market who may see a significant reduction in their workers’ compensation costs,” she said.

Thabault attributed the decline in workers’ compensation rates to a variety of factors, including increased attention that Vermont employers have paid to workplace safety, which has resulted in a steady four-year downward trend in the number of work-related injuries.

According to Thabault, another factor underlying the rate decrease is a general softening of the hard insurance market that has affected all lines of property and casualty insurance throughout the country during the past several years.

Last year, then-Commissioner John P. Crowley approved a loss cost increase of 1.4 percent for the voluntary market and a rate decrease of 2.6 percent in the assigned risk market, effective April 1, 2006.

The 2006 rate changes were a significant drop from the double-digit figures of the recent past.

Source: BISHCA

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