Workers’ comp rates should decline

Workers’ compensation rates in Oklahoma are expected to drop in 2016. Last week, National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) filed an overall loss cost decrease of 14.8 percent. This is the third straight year rates have decreased.

“Since my department’s push for workers’ compensation reform, we’re seeing this positive trend,” Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said. “As these rates decrease, Oklahoma business owners can pay less for workers’ compensation insurance and instead invest in growing their business. It’s a step in the right direction for Oklahoma’s economy.”

Workers’ compensation loss costs are used by insurers to determine rates for employers. With this year’s drop, the total of the three consecutive decreases is 37.2 percent.

Doak praised Oklahoma lawmakers and Gov. Mary Fallin for their efforts to improve the state’s workers’ compensation system.

“Today’s news is a win for all Oklahomans,” said Fallin. “A third year of rate reductions demonstrates that reforms to the workers’ compensation process have delivered a system that is efficient and fair to both workers and employers. Money saved on insurance premiums can now be used to invest in our economy and produce more and better jobs.”

The NCCI is an advisory organization that studies workplace injuries, collects workers’ compensation claim data, analyzes industry trends and develops loss costs to be used in the ratemaking process. Most workers’ compensation carriers use the NCCI loss cost values when determining the rates charged to Oklahoma employers. NCCI credits Oklahoma’s premium level decrease to declines in market experience and market trend, as well as the recent reforms.

The new loss costs go into effect on Jan. 1.