South Carolina: Workers' compensation rates should drop by 3 percent, NCCI says
Representatives for NCCI, a Florida-based rate service organization, recently made a filing with the South Carolina Department of Insurance recommending that regulators decrease workers' comp rates by an average of 3 percent beginning July 1. The council said a significant decline in lost time claim frequency has offset increases in medical and indemnity costs. In addition, NCCI said a hospital fee schedule that the state implemented in 2006 has helped to control expenses.
The filing comes as a welcomed relief for South Carolina employers after NCCI had sought double-digit workers' comp rate increases in its four previous recommendations. The council had requested an average increase of nearly 24 percent in April 2007. However, in August 2007, the Department of Insurance denied the requested increase but indicated it would approve an increase of roughly 16 percent. NCCI requested a contested hearing before the Administrative Law Court, and South Carolina Consumer Advocate Elliott Elam Jr. intervened in the case. Under the settlement, loss costs were allowed to increase by 9.8 percent on July 1.
The legal challenge was the second filed by employer groups in the state in recent years. A lawsuit was filed in 2006 after NCCI had recommended a 32.9 percent increase in voluntary market loss costs. That number was eventually reduced to 18.4 percent.
The NCCI filing must be approved by the Department of Insurance before it can go into effect.
January 8, 2009
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