Insurer Group Urges Workers’ Comp Rate Increase
The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau is calling on Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner (R) to recommend a 4.2% rate increase for workers' compensation policies, the Sacramento Bee reports. The group is seeking the rate increase for policies written or renewed beginning in January 2008.
Workers' comp insurance rates have fallen by 64% since lawmakers overhauled the system in 2003 and 2004. The proposed increase would end eight consecutive rate reductions; WCIRB issues rate recommendations twice annually.
Insurers maintain that higher costs for legal work, fraud investigations and other administrative functions warrant a rate increase.
However, advocates for workers' comp claimants argue that insurers have strong profits and that no rate hike is needed.
The insurance commissioner's recommendation for workers' compensation rates is not binding on insurers, but it often is considered a guideline (Chan, Sacramento Bee, 9/13).