Missouri Says Workers’ Comp Loss Costs Should Drop by 8.1%

December 30, 2009

After reviewing statewide data for insurance claims paid by employers for injured workers in 2009, the Missouri Department of Insurance is recommending an overall 8.1 percent decrease in workers’ compensation loss costs for 2010.

The department’s recommended decrease is more substantial than that proposed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).

The department came to that conclusion after reviewing loss cost data filed by the NCCI, as well as the underlying claim and payroll data.

Under Missouri law, insurers and self-insurers are allowed to set their rates based either on the recommendations of the NCCI or of the department. Both the NCCI and department make recommendations for general loss costs, as well as for specific industry groups.

Effective Jan. 1, 2010, the NCCI proposes an overall decrease of 1.9 percent from its 2009 loss costs. The department proposes the larger decrease of 8.1 percent. This marks the fourth consecutive year the NCCI and department have recommended loss cost decreases.

“If insurers implement our recommended decrease, Missouri employers could see as much as $80 million in reduced premiums in the coming year,” said John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP).

Huff says workers’ comp insurance market is increasingly competitive in Missouri, with 25 new insurers entering the market since 2008; 256 companies are actively writing workers’ comp policies in Missouri.

Huff says competitive prices are largely due to continued improvements in workplace safety, resulting in fewer workers’ compensation claims. The frequency of on-the-job injuries is down 60 percent over the past 15 years.

Source: Missouri Department of Insurance

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