Calif. Rating Bureau Wants to Lower Recommended Workers’ Comp Rate 2%

September 16, 2010

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California announced it will be amending its recommended rate filing to the state insurance commissioner, recommending a 27.7 percent increase in the claim cost benchmark, instead of a 29.6 percent increase in the benchmark, or pure premium rates, it requested in August.

On Aug.18, 2010, the WCIRB submitted a pure premium rate filing to California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner recommending among other things a 29.6 percent increase in pure premium rates effective Jan. 1, 2011, based on accident year experience as of March 31, 2010. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner criticized the recommendation, saying it would pose a hardship on employers, especially during an economic slump.

In the filing, the WCIRB advised the department that it would review accident year experience valued as of June 30, 2010 once it became available, and if appropriate, amend the proposed pure premium rates.

Now that the June 30 data is available, the WCIRB said it will amend its filing to propose a 27.7 percent increase in the claim cost benchmark.

The Aug. 18, 2010 filing also contained proposed changes to the standard classifications for (a) consulting engineers, (b) land surveyors, (c) oil or gas geologist or scouts and (d) geophysical exploration. After gathering additional information concerning these proposed changes, the Classification and Rating Committee recommended, and the Governing Committee approved, that the WCIRB amend the filing to withdraw these proposed classification changes, and instead, propose only the inclusion of clerical office employees and outside salespersons in Classification 8601, Engineers – consulting.

A public hearing on the matters contained in the WCIRB’s filing will be held Oct. 12, 2010, at 1 p.m. in San Francisco. For more information, visit www.wcirbonline.org. The amended filing will be available on or around Sept.24, 2010 on WCIRB’s Web site.

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