Workers’ Compensation Insurance Premium Rates Decrease by 10.38%, Garamendi Says
Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi (D) on Tuesday announced that workers' compensation insurance premium rates have decreased 10.38% since the enactment of two recent workers' compensation reform measures, the AP/Fresno Bee reports. To address increasing workers' compensation insurance premiums, lawmakers last year passed several workers' compensation reform measures and earlier this year passed another workers' compensation reform law (SB 899) (AP/Fresno Bee, 7/14). The reduction is "well below" Garamendi's recommended premium rate reduction of 20.9% issued in May, the Sacramento Bee reports. "Workers' compensation rates are definitely on the down escalator, but the escalator needs to speed up," Garamendi said in a statement. He added, "Greater savings are possible, especially from State Compensation Insurance Fund" (Chan, Sacramento Bee, 7/14). The State Fund, which provides workers' compensation insurance to more than half of California employers, has reduced its premiums by an average 9.7% since the workers' compensation reforms have been passed. Last week, Garamendi said that State Fund could reduce premium rates by an additional 5.9% by altering its underwriting practices, expanding its investments and decreasing its commissions. Nicole Mahrt, a spokesperson for the American Insurance Association, said that workers' compensation insurers are "cutting rates as much as they are able to," given that all of the provisions of this year's legislation have not taken effect. "I think carriers are reducing rates based on faith," she added (AP/Fresno Bee, 7/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.