R.I. Approves 20% Cut in Workers’ Comp Loss Costs

January 9, 2005

Average loss costs for workers’ compensation insurers adopting figures from the National Council on Compensation Insurance in Rhode Island are going down 20.2 percent following an order by the Department of Business Regulation.

The NCCI had filed for an 18.3 percent reduction last October. The DBR decision on the 20.2 percent reduction came on Dec. 30, after a public hearing was held on Dec. 15.

The NCCI filing was challenged by the state attorney general’s office, which recommended that most loss costs be cut by an average 27.5 percent.

NCCI’s figures were also initially criticized by the state’s leading workers’ comp writer, Beacon Mutual, which controls more than 75 percent of the state’s market, although the insurer later declined to be a formal party in the hearing process.

Workers’ comp rates in the state have not changed since 1998, when the state approved a 9.4 percent to 10.5 percent rate reduction. While the industry made a filing in 2001, lawmakers prohibited consideration of the filing at that time.

Since then, the state has changed its law to mandate that all employers with three or more employees, who had been excused from the mandate, be required to purchase coverage.

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