Workers’ comp rates to rise
A long-awaited mid-year loss cost increase will take effect on Thursday, Feb. 1. Late last month the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau (PCRB) received approval of Filing No. C-369, which calls for an overall +6.06 percent increase.
As previously mentioned in Agent Headlines, the mid-year increase is a direct result of the Protz v. WCAB Supreme Court case, which dealt with Impairment Rating Evaluation. The PCRB originally requested that the loss cost increase take effect Nov. 1; however, by law, the Insurance Department had until February to consider the proposal. From a practical standpoint, it is anticipated that policies renewing in February and March will not notice the increase (it will be offset by the 6.21 decrease that was effective in April 2017). Starting with the April renewals, the change will be more noticeable.
Looking down the line, it is important to note that a legislative remedy is possible. We are on record as supporting HB 1840/SB 963, which was introduced in the fall and which we continue to work with other stakeholders to advance.
Note that this is separate from the still-pending April 1, 2018 loss cost filing (Filing No. C-370). IA&B was on hand last week when the PCRB detailed its proposal, which calls for an overall average increase of +0.70 percent. PCRB representatives cited that, while frequency continues to decline, the most noticeable item in the filing is a continued increase in the indemnity severity component of the loss costs.