Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mass. AG seeks to reduce workers comp. insurance rates

Boston Business Journal

The Massachusetts attorney general's office said Monday the state will initiate a hearing to seek reductions in workers compensation insurance rates for 2008.

"Businesses, particularly small businesses, can't afford to overpay for insurance coverage in these hard economic times," said Attorney General Martha Coakley in a statement.

Workers compensation insurance pays lost wages, compensation for permanent injuries, and reimbursement for injury related services caused by job-related injuries. The insurance companies, through their trade group, the Workers Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau, must file with the commissioner at least every two years to update their rates. Rates are then set by the Commissioner of Insurance through an administrative rate hearing process.

In May of this year, the AG's office and the Patrick administration said a 16.9 percent rate rollback was approved by the commissioner in the previous year's rate case. As part of that settlement, the AG's office won the right to trigger another rate hearing in 2008; normally the WCRIB would not have had to file until 2009.

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