WCIRB Submits Filing Recommending 29.6% Increase in Pure Premium Rates Effective January 1, 2011

This week the WCIRB submitted a pure premium rate filing to the California Insurance Commissioner recommending among other things a 29.6% increase in pure premium rates or "claims cost benchmark" effective January 1, 2011. Pure premium rates are a benchmark that insurers may use as a tool for determining their own rates. The proposed increase is based upon the WCIRB's analysis of accident year experience valued as of March 31, 2010 and reflects the loss and loss adjustment expenses expected to occur on policies with effective dates on or after January 1, 2011. This is the third increase in pure premium rates in excess of 20% proposed by the WCIRB since they were last adjusted January 1, 2009. If the full 29.6% increase is approved by the Insurance Commissioner, the January 1, 2011 pure premium rates will still be, on average, 53% lower than the approved pure premium rates in effect July 1, 2003. The proposed pure premium rates and the WCIRB's analysis are contained in Part A of the WCIRB filing.