Hawaii Files for 11.6% Workers’ Comp Decrease

September 18, 2008

Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ (DCCA) Insurance Division announced that the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has filed a request for a decrease of 11.6 percent in the workers’ compensation loss costs. The filing would affect premiums beginning Jan. 1, 2009.

The reduction is based on a continuing decrease in the number of claims filed in 2006 (which is the last year complete data is available). In the past three years the the state’s insurance commissioner has approved decreases of 19.3 percent, 18.2 percent and 12.3 percent in loss costs as evidence began showing a significant reduction in claims.

This latest reduction brings the total decrease in workers’ compensation loss costs to 61.4 percent in the past four years.

“This is one of the largest declines in workers’ compensation insurance rates of any state in the nation,” stated Insurance Commissioner J.P. Schmidt. “These lower rates show that the great efforts of Hawaii’s employers and our employees have been effective in providing a safer work place for our workforce. The lower workers’ compensation loss cost rates will help Hawaii employers offset some of the other rising costs they are facing.”

Additionally, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ (DLIR) Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health (HIOSH) division has made strides toward working with employers and labor organizations in creating safer and healthier workplaces. These efforts, coupled with strong, effective and fair enforcement of the state’s workplace safety and health laws, has directly resulted in less workers’ compensation claims being filed.

“The DLIR has made marked improvements in streamlining and expediting the hearing process,” said Schmidt. “Claims are continuing to be resolved in a timely manner. However, we still need to work with the Legislature to reduce the adversarial nature of the system and improve the quality of care to our injured workers so that they can return to work promptly without the financial impact associated with an unnecessary prolonged absence from work.”

NCCI collects and validates data on work comp premiums and loss experience. If the filing is approved, insurance companies can choose to adopt NCCI’s loss costs and then file their own factor for covering the other components that finally make up the premium.

Source: DCCA

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