commissioner rejects rate hike request -- again.
In one of his last acts as insurance commissioner, Steve Poizner rejected a proposed 27.7 percent rate hike in workers' comp premiums. It was the third time in as many years Poizner turned down a request from the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.
The commissioner's approval is not actually needed since California's insurance department does not set rates. However, many major carriers adhere to his recommendations.
In rejecting a rate hike, Poizner said workers' comp insurers had not adopted cost controls and cut inefficiencies despite his requests.
Poizner, who leaves office in January, is implementing three reforms he says will improve the review process:
- Calculate future advisory pure premiums based on insurers' actual filed rates rather than on theoretical previous benchmark numbers. Poizner said this approach would have resulted in a rate decrease.
- Include in future rate filings a table showing the proposed change for each worker classification so employers can understand the impact on their specific businesses.
- Use department filing information and data from the WCIRB to evaluate overall workers' comp insurer profitability to help monitor the health of the comp system and make it easier for consumers to understand insurance pricing.
regulators increase maximum income benefit.
Workers injured after January 2011 will receive a maximum weekly income benefit of $698. The current amount, $691, will continue to apply to work-related injuries and illnesses occurring during the previous 12 months. The minimum weekly amount of $49 will continue to apply.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
December 20, 2010
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