The Division of Insurance applauded the study reminding us that rates in Massachusetts have decreased more than 19.7 percent since 2007
A new study from the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business finds that Massachusetts employers pay some of the lowest workers’ compensation rates in the nation. In light of the Division of Insurance’s recent denial of the Worker’s Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureaus request for a rate increase, Commissioner Joseph Murphy was pleased with the news.
“The Oregon study, which is the best benchmark known in the industry, confirms this Administration’s commitment to continued stability in workers’ compensation rates in Massachusetts,” said Joseph G. Murphy, the Commissioner of Insurance. “We are pleased with the progress we have made to ensure timely benefits to workers while minimizing the cost of workers’ compensation insurance for our business community.”
The Oregon study ranks Massachusetts as the fifth-lowest state out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia citing a combined rates of $1.54 per $100 in payroll. The highest ranking state was Montana which has a $3.33 combined rate per $100 payroll. Connecticut has the highest workers’ compensation rate in New England with a $2.55 combined rate per $100 in payroll. Based on the study, the Division of Insurance says that Massachusetts’ rates are currently 75 percent of the median of all states.
“That Massachusetts can continue to point to above-average success in managing its workers’ compensation rates is particularly good news in this economy,” said Barbara Anthony, the Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. “This is further proof of our state’s commitment to address the costs of doing business in an appropriate and competitive manner.”
The study published biannually since 1968, examines the workers’ compensation rates in each state by calculating individual employer’s costs according to experience ratings, premium discounts and other factors. Rates effective January 1, 2012 were used. The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services says that overall the 2012 median workers’ compensation value is $1.88, an eight percent drop from the 2010 study which had a $2.04 median value and 10 percent below the 2008 median value.
The Division of Insurance says that Massachusetts’ success in keeping its workers’ compensation rates down can be attributed to various factors including increased safety awareness in the workplace, a shift in the population to less hazardous occupations, and the workers’ compensation reforms instituted by the Commonwealth in 1991. In addition, the DOI also noted that restructuring workers’ compensation by reducing the maximum penalty for losses from 49 percent to 25 percent and lowering charges for small businesses also has helped.