Calif. WCIRB Makes 2005 Regulatory Filing

July 29, 2004

On July 28, 2004, the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) submitted its annual regulatory filing to the California insurance commissioner. In its filing, the WCIRB proposed advisory premium rates applicable to new and renewal policies with anniversary rating dates on or after Jan. 1, 2005 that are, on average, 3.5 percent greater than the July 1, 2004 advisory pure premium rates approved by the insurance commissioner. Most of the proposed 3.5 percent increase is attributable to the increase in benefits enacted by Assembly Bill No. 749 that become effective on or after Jan. 1, 2005.

In addition, the WCIRB proposed changes to the California Workers’ Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan -1995 (including changes to the standard classification system developed by the WCIRB), the Miscellaneous Regulations for the Recording and Reporting of Data and the California Workers’ Compensation Experience Rating Plan -1995. These changes are proposed to be effective Jan. 1, 2005.

Though not subject to the insurance commissioner’s approval, the WCIRB has submitted for the insurance commissioner’s review amendments to the United States Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Insurance Supplement to the California Workers’ Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan -1995 and the advisory California Insolvent Insurer Rating Adjustment Plan – 2004. These amendments are effective on policies incepting on or after January 1, 2005.

In a letter accompanying the filing, WCIRB president Robert Mike advised the insurance commissioner that the WCIRB plans to evaluate the impact of changes to permanent disability benefits contained in Senate Bill No. 899 once a new permanent disability rating schedule is adopted by the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation. If a new permanent disability rating schedule is adopted prior to the close of record with respect to this filing, the WCIRB intends to evaluate the impact of the permanent disability changes on the cost of benefits. If the evaluation indicates a significant change in the cost of benefits, the WCIRB will amend this filing to reflect the change on the proposed Jan. 1, 2005 pure premium rates.

A public hearing on the matters contained in the WCIRB’s filing will be held Sept. 15, 2004, at 9:30 AM, in the 22nd Floor Hearing Room at 45 Fremont Street, San Francisco.

The complete Jan. 1, 2005 Regulatory Filing, as well as the insurance commissioner’s Notice of Proposed Action and Notice of Public Hearing and the Initial Statement of Reason summarizing the WCIRB’s proposed revisions, may be viewed or downloaded from the WCIRB Web site. Visit www.wcirbonline.org/filings.

Paper copies of the filing may be purchased for $50 plus shipping and handling. To place an order for a paper copy, complete a Products and Services Order Form (104K PDF) using “AD0001X” as the catalog number, “Regulatory Filing” as the description, and “January 1, 2005” as the selection criteria.

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