Arkansas: Commissioner credits reform legislation with decline in workers' comp rates
Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford recently announced that overall loss costs would decrease in the voluntary market by an average of 7 percent. Overall rates for the assigned risk category are expected to fall by an average of 6.4 percent. The rate decrease will go into effect July 1.
Bradford credited reform legislation passed in 1993 for providing the impetus for the aggressive health and safety programs which he said have helped lower overall workers' comp rates in Arkansas.
"I was involved in the 1993 legislation, and I think this continued decline in costs is a prime example of the Legislature's intent to provide a positive job climate in the state," he said. "We must give credit to the workers of Arkansas who embraced these new standards and who continue to provide the strong work ethic for which the state is known."
Since passage of workers' comp reform legislation -- Act 796 -- and the implementation of high workplace standards, Bradford said, the state has experienced a steady decline in costs. Today, costs in the voluntary market are approximately 63 percent lower than in 1996, he said.
"Today, we are seeing the culmination of the efforts and farsightedness demonstrated by everyone involved in the system," Bradford said.
May 14, 2009
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