Workers' Compensation Insurance Group Seeks 4.1% Premium Increase

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On Thursday, the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau sent a letter to Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D) proposing a 4.1% overall increase in employer-paid premiums for workers' compensation insurance, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.

Background

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and former Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner (R) opposed WCIRB's proposals to increase employer-paid premiums. They supported employers' arguments that such increases would hinder economic recovery.

However, labor unions and attorneys who represent injured workers recently have urged state lawmakers to undo certain reforms affecting worker benefits and medical care that Schwarzenegger enacted in 2004. They said the reforms are too harsh and deny disabled workers access to compensation.

New WCIRB Proposal

The new proposal from WCIRB would increase average premium costs from $2.41 per $100 of payroll to $2.51 per $100 of payroll. The increase is significantly smaller than previous proposals from WCIRB.

Jones plans to hold hearings on the matter before issuing recommendations. However, insurers are able to set their own rates (Walters, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 4/12).
Barbara Filkins
Additionally, Workman's Compensation has a few rules regarding how they calculate payroll that are effectively a direct case of fraud. Taxation on non-existant payroll.
Tim Colling
Actually, the increase proposed by Jones was 9.1%, not 4.1%. This comes on top of a 37% increase approved by Jones earlier in the year. Workers Comp premiums and regulations are making it harder and harder for employers to remain in business in California.

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