Missouri Insurance Department Backs 3.5% Workers’ Comp Rate Decrease

January 4, 2019

The Missouri Department of Insurance in December recommended a 3.5 percent decrease in workers’ compensation insurance loss costs for 2019. This marks the fifth year in a row that average workers’ compensation rates will decrease.

The department cited declining lost-time claim frequencies combined with stable average claim costs.

“Missouri’s lost-time claim frequency has fallen since 2010, and average claim costs have stayed steady for the past several years,” Department of Insurance Director Chlora Lindley-Myers said in the agency’s release. She said the workers’ comp market in Missouri is competitive, with more than 300 carriers writing policies there.

Prospective loss costs are intended to cover indemnity and medical payments for injured workers and some of the expenses associated with providing these benefits. Insurers use loss costs to set their workers’ comp rates.

Every year, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), an industry-funded group, files advisory loss costs with the Department of Insurance.

The department reviews the NCCI’s methodology and assumptions and develops its own recommended loss costs. Under Missouri law, insurers may set their rates based on the NCCI’s recommendations, the department’s recommendations, or their own actuarial analysis. Insurers are not required to change their rates in 2019, regardless of the recommendations made.

Both the NCCI and the department proposed an overall loss cost decrease of 3.5 percent for policies effective Jan. 1, 2019.

The NCCI’s proposed average changes in loss costs by industry group are shown below:

  • Manufacturing: -2.4 percent
  • Contracting: -6.3 percent
  • Office and Clerical: -3.7 percent
  • Goods and Services: -4.2 percent
  • Miscellaneous: -0.2 percent

The NCCI’s 2018 loss cost filing and the department’s independent actuarial review are available on the department’s website.

Source: Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP)

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