Hawaii Insurance Division Approves 18.2 Percent Workers’ Comp Decrease

October 18, 2005

The state of Hawaii Insurance Division has approved an 18.2 percent decrease in the cost of workers’ compensation claims, which likely will lower premiums for Hawaii companies beginning Jan. 1.

According to the division, the cost of claims for health and indemnity paid by insurance companies in 2003 dropped because there were fewer claims. Health costs are increasing, but at a slower price. Additionally, costs for indemnity (wage loss and other losses workers suffer) are also rising, but because there are fewer claims, the costs insurers pay are lower.

“The drop in the number of claims is primarily due to businesses implementing safe workplace programs, which the Insurance Division has been encouraging them to do in order to get a discount in their work comp rates,” said J.P. Schmidt, insurance commissioner. “It’s very good news that we’re having a reduction but we need to keep in mind that we were the fourth-highest premium in the United States … so there are still very important reforms in the work comp system that we need to undertake.”

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