The filing was made just before the New Year on December 2o, 2019
On December 20, 2019, the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (“WCRIBMA”) submitted a rate filing on behalf its members recommending a statewide average rate decrease in workers compensation insurance of 3.8%. In addition, the Rating Bureau also recommended a 7.0% decrease for F-Classes. According to the filing, the WCRIBMA submitted the rate decrease request with a proposed effective date of July 1, 2020.
In response to the filing, on December 23, 2019, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance issued a Notice of Hearing on the matter scheduled for January 23, 2020, in accordance with the powers granted to the Commissioner of Insurance pursuant to M. G. L. c. 152, §53A. The hearing is slated to begin at 10:00 AM in Hearing Room 1-E at the Division of Insurance offices.
The notice has the standard language that the purpose of the hearing is “…to provide evidence and testimony relating to the proposed workers’ compensation classifications, risks and rates so that the Commissioner can determine whether the proposed classifications and rates are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory for the risks to which they apply and whether they fall within a range of reasonableness.” For those interested in viewing WCRIBMA’s proposed rate filing and supporting documentation, it is available for inspection at the Division of Insurance’s offices during its normal business hours.
In a Circular Letter it issued to its members, WCRIBMA said that the effective date that it had proposed to the DOI was July 1, 2020 and that in anticipation of its approval, the Rating Board has been issuing ratings effective on that date with a preliminary status. As such, it recommends that until a final decision is rendered that “… carriers should attach the the Massachusetts Pending Premium Change Endorsement (WC 20 04 01) to all new and renewal policies effective on or after July 1, 2020. A copy of that endorsement can be accessed on the WCRIBMA website.
When was the last time the WCRIBMA filed a rate request?
It has been a coupled of years since the WCRIBMA last filed a rate request. The last time was at the end of 2017, when the Rating Bureau made a request. Similar to the current one, the WCRIBMA also requested a rate decrease, of 11.1%. After the Divison of Insurance hearing, the actual rate decrease agreed upon in a subsequent Stipulation and Order from the Division increased the the rate decrease to an overall average of 12.9%.
As such, one would have to go back to 2016, as the last time the WCRIBMA submitted a Rate Filing requesting an increase in workers compensation rates.
For those interested in learning more about the current makeup of the Worker’s Compensation Insurance Marketplace in Massachusetts, please refer to our most recent market share reports listing the top insurers in this line of insurance both across the U.S. and in the Commonwealth:
- The Largest Workers Compensation Insurers In Massachusetts
- NAIC 2019 Market Share Report: The Top 25 Workers’ Compensation Companies In The U.S.
For those who would like to participate in the WCRIB Rate Hearing
Massachusetts insurance professionals who would like to give either oral or written testimony at the January 23rd hearing, must do so pursuant to the procedures set forth in 211 CMR 11.0.05 (3). This means that persons who wish to present unsworn oral and written statement must submit a notice of intent to comment no later than January 21, 2020. Any person wanting to speak at the hearing who has not submitted a notice of intent will be heard only after those who have notified the Division of Insurance in advance. Those interested in providing any data at the hearing should plan to file such data with the Division no later than January 16th.
All notices, data files and other materials can be sent to the attention of the Docket Clerk, Hearings and Appeals, Division of Insurance, Division of Insurance, 1000 Washington St, Suite 810, Boston, MA 02118-6200. Any submissions should include the docket reference: No. R2019-01.