The Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) announced today that it is recommending an overall 9.6% rate increase for workers compensation rates in California for the 2014 year. The WCIRB is a neutral governmental entity that reviews loss information from all of the workers’ compensation companies in California and then recommends the rates for workers’ compensation insurance to the state insurance commissioner. The state insurance commissioner then approves or rejects the recommendations.
Earlier this year, the WCIRB indicated it would be recommending about an 8% rate increase. However, continuing deterioration of medical costs forced the WCIRB to adjust its rate recommendation upwards.
Last year, the average workers’ compensation rate per $100 of payroll was $2.51. Their revised rate for 2014 has increased from $2.70 per $100 to $2.75 per $100. The revised rate for 2014 will now be 9.6% higher than 2013. Although companies do not have to adopt the rate increase --rates are considered advisory --many companies use the WCIRB rate recommendations as a basis for their adjustments and may actually file rate increases higher than the WCIRB’s recommendations. In fact, many companies are filing increases significantly higher than the WCIRB amount. Twenty to thirty percent increases are not unusual.
In addition to increasing rates, many companies are being very cautious when selecting new clients, making it more difficult for business operators to get competitive workers’ compensation quotes. In order to secure as many options as possible for workers’ compensation insurance, members should work with insurance brokers who have access to a large number of insurance markets, as well as brokers, who can provide other solutions such as high deductible plans, captive insurance companies and special workers compensation programs.
Western Growers Insurance Services can provide these options and more for insurance buyers. If interested in finding out more, contact Greg Nelson, Assistant Vice President of Commercial Lines at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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