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A Brief Summary of California Workers' Compensation News

Today's post will briefly examine workers' compensation defense news from around the state.

Report by Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) Indicates that Both Premiums and Losses Rise Continue to Mount in First Quarter of 2010

According to a recent report by the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) of California, both work comp premiums and losses continue to rise throughout the state.

Specifically, the report found that in the first quarter of 2010 (a three-month period), written premiums in the state numbered nearly $2.9 billion. This represents a 12 percent increase from the same time last year.

In addition, the WCRIB report found that for all policies written so far this year, employers are paying roughly $2.47 for every $100 of payroll. This represents a rate increase of five percent from the previous year.

Lastly, the report found that for every dollar of premiums collected by insurers, 73 cents is being spent on claims. This represents a five percent increase in loss ratio from the previous year.

A link to the entire WCIRB report may be found here ...

Dept. of Insurance Schedules Public Hearing Regarding Proposed 30% Increase in Work Comp Insurance Rates

Earlier this month, the WCIRB made work comp headlines when it recommended a 30 percent increase in the workers' compensation rates that insurance companies charge employers across the state.

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is now free to either accept or reject these recommendations, while California's 400 licensed workers' comp companies may also accept or reject the recommendations and establish their own rates. (However, they typically use the Insurance Commissioner's recommendations as their primary benchmark.)

It is worth noting that Poizner rejected the WCIRB's recommendation for an increase of 22.8 percent last November, opting instead to advise no rate increase. Poizner's justification was that substantial increases in workers' compensation base rates would create additional costs for employers during already perilous economic times.

A public hearing on the proposed rate increase is scheduled for September 28.

The proposed 30 percent increase would affect all new and renewed policies starting January 1.

Stay tuned for further developments in the area of workers' compensation defense ...

Related Resources:
• Workers' Comp Premium up 5% (Silicon Valley San Jose Business Journal)
• California Public Hearing Set for Proposed 30% Workers' Comp Rate Hike (Insurance News Net)

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