Vt. Workers’ Comp Rates To Drop

March 5, 2008

Most Vermont employers for the second straight year will see lower workers’ compensation premiums when new state-approved loss cost rates become effective April 1.

Rates for loss costs in the voluntary market will decrease by an average of 4.2 percent, according to Gov. Jim Douglas’s office. Loss costs are the primary component of workers’ compensation rates.

It marks the state’s largest decrease in voluntary market loss costs since 1998.

“These lower rates demonstrate that an emphasis on workplace safety and a healthy, predictable regulatory environment for insurers can help bring rates down for most employers,” Douglas said.

The governor gave credit to the several state agencies which he said have been active in promoting a culture of safety in workplaces across Vermont.

The number of lost-time claims in Vermont – those claims where a worker misses work due to a workplace injury – continued to drop, a trend that began in 2000. That decline in the frequency of work-related injuries offset an increase in the average cost per case, an increase driven in large part by increasing medical costs.

“Further improvements in safety and claims experience are still needed to alleviate rates in (some) sectors,” said Paulette Thabault, commissioner of the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration.

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