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California And 0% Rate Increase May Not Be Answer

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The 0% Rate Increase Is Not Recommended for California

Once again, California’s Insurance Commissioner has rejected the 27.7% recommended  rate increase by the California’s Workers Compensation Rating Bureau (WCIRB). I had thought the request was somewhat steep. However, a 0% rate increase may not be the answer either.

Graphic of rate increase Gold Percent and Arrow Up
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The Workers Comp insurance carriers can increase or decrease any of their rates as they see fit using their own underwriting data. I have rarely seen where the Insurance Commissioner or Rating Bureau had ever rejected the recommendations by the insurance carrier.

Is the Workers Compensation insurance rating system for California or any state harmed when the Rating Bureau’s recommended rates are rejected? That is a tough question to ask. If the recommended rate increases by the rating bureau are not that sharp, then I do not see it as a problem. California’s WCIRB has recommend 20% increases often over the last few years and have been rejected.

I think the carriers have amassed a large amount of underwriting data. Therefore, they know the correct rates to charge for Workers Compensation coverage to their insureds. As the rates are usually “rubber stamped” by the Rating Bureau and Insurance Commissioner, let the market reflect the Workers Compensation environment, not vice versa.

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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