On December 22, 2017, the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (“WCRIB”) submitted a rate filing seeking a statewide average decrease in workers’ compensation rates of 11.1 percent effective July 1, 2018.
This latest rate filing comes just a year after the last time the WCRIBMA submitted a rate filing to the Division which unlike the present rate filing, sought a rate increase.
The Division of Insurance issued its official decision on March 21st
In response to the WCRIBMA’s Rate Filing, the Division of Insurance held a public hearing on the matter for January 29, 2018. According to the official decision from the Division, shortly after the initial public comment hearing, all of the interested parties, including representatives of the WCRIBMA, the Attorney General, and the State Rating Bureau in the Division of Insurance (“SRB”) notified the Division’s presiding officers that a stipulation as to the submitted rate filing which be submitted shortly thereafter.
The Stipulation Includes a greater rate deduction than initially proposed
On March 15th, a written stipulation by all of the interested parties was submitted to the Division which stated that all of the interested parties had agreed to an overall average 12.9% decrease in existing workers’ compensation rates, effective for all new and renewed policies on or after July 1, 2018. This is a larger decrease than had been originally contemplated in the initial rate filing the WCRIBMA submitted in December of 2017.
The Attorney General claims victory for small businesses with decrease in rates
In a separate press release issued by the her office, Attorney General Maura Healey applauded the decrease in rates, which she said her office had argued for during the Division’s public hearing.
This settlement saves businesses millions of dollars,” said Attorney General Healey. “When we lower the rates for workers’ compensation insurance, we protect workers and allow businesses to invest in higher wages and growth.”
The Attorney General added that her office’s intervention in the administrative rate proceeding and the subsequent stipulation will help Massachusetts business save approximately $150 million as a result of the greater decrease in workers compensation rates.
A look at all of the WCRIBMA rate filings since 1988
As the Attorney General explained in an official announcement, “…workers’ compensation rates are set periodically in administrative rate hearings before the Division of Insurance. The insurance industry, which files a joint rate proposal via industry group WCRIB, must provide a proposed rate supported by actuarial data at least every two years.”
The following is an information chart from the Rating Bureau which has outlined all of the Approved Rate Changes since 1988, except for the current one which was just approved:
How to access the official decision from the Division:
For those who are interested in reading the official decision from the Division of Insurance, an official copy can be accessed here.