Are Lower Workers’ Comp Rates a Done Deal?

Are Lower Workers’ Comp Rates a Done Deal?

California Insurance Commission Don Jones says “Yes” to the lower rate recommendation made by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau* (WCIRB).  The recommendation is to lower the rates an average of 10.2% and this is to be effective July 1, 2015.

As you may recall from a previous newsletter, it is uncertain how serious insurance companies will react to this advice.  California is an “open rated” marketplace, which means that each insurance company can set their own rates.  Employers benefit by having more choices and many feel the rate competition creates a healthier business environment.

With the uncertainty of how insurance companies will react, some feel that employers will continue to see a wide variation of rates offered.

Those employers who have claims activity will be paying more, because it is expected that the claims activity will continue and be more costly to insurance companies.

Here is a short check list for employers to follow that can help lower premiums and associated expenses:

  • Select the right employees for the right jobs
  • Train-train & train employees some more, to avoid workplace injuries
  • Make supervisors accountable for safety
  • Vet the medical doctors who are to treat injured employees
  • Be actively involved in the claims management process throughout the employee recovery
  • Communicate with the injured

It will be interesting to see how the insurance commissioner’s decision to lower workers’ comp rates help California employers.

For more information about this and related topics, you can reach me in the following ways: email:; direct phone 916-960-8758; mobile phone 925-285-6790.

* One purpose of the WCIRB is to gather statistical data and make rate recommendations to insurance companies.  The WCIRB is funded by workers’ compensation insurance companies doing business in California.


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Tom Bone
Risk Insurance Advisor
ISU Insurance Services
2266 Lava Ridge Court
Roseville, California 95661
Phone 916.960.8758 or 800.823.4852 ext. 8758
Fax 916.773.4484
Mobile 925.285.6790
License #0306692