TN workers’ comp insurance rates continue decline

Workers’ compensation insurance rates will drop again next year for most Tennessee businesses as safer work sites and non-judicial settlements of workers’ comp claims continue to cut the costs of insurance industry, reports the Times Free Press.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) said Tuesday it is seeking a loss cost reduction of 12.6 percent for workers’ compensation that will have the impact of bringing down insurance rates, effective March 1, 2018. (Note:

The new filing represents the seventh consecutive reduction and reflects a continuing trend of reduced workers’ compensation insurance premium prices since the Tennessee General Assembly changed the state’s workers ‘comp rules and moved to an administrative, rather than a judicial, process of paying claims for workers who are injured on the job.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam led the effort to reform Tennessee’s workers’ compensation system in 2014 when businesses complained that Tennessee had some of the most expensive workers’ comp insurance rates in the country.

“We used to be ranked among some of the worst states in the country (for costs to employers), but now we’re generally in the middle of the pack, ” said Bradley Jackson, president of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “We had a lot of businesses complaining about the costs of our former workers’ comp program and threatening to move to other states. We have a safer environment and a better system today.”

Note: “Loss cost” is a calculation of how much insurance companies pay out in claims and is a major factor – but not the only one — in setting premium rates.

News release from the state Department of Commerce and Insurance:

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) announces that the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) is seeking a loss cost reduction of over 12 percent for workers’ compensation that will have the impact of bringing down insurance rates, effective March 1, 2018.

The new filing, which represents the seventh consecutive reduction, benefits the vast majority of Tennessee employers and employees by continuing a trend of reduced workers’ compensation insurance premium prices. Since Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam led the charge to reform Tennessee’s workers’ compensation system in 2014, NCCI filings have totaled loss cost reductions of over 36 percent, representing substantial savings for Tennessee employers. The reduced rates are also impacted by Tennessee employers seeing fewer significant workplace injuries.

“This is more good news for Tennessee employers at a time of record low unemployment,” said TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “The 2014 workers’ compensation reforms fueled these lower costs. These benefits extend to Tennessee’s workforce as well because the loss cost reductions are a result of decreases in lost-time claim frequency and stabilizing claim costs.”

The 12.6 percent proposed reduction comes on top of the 12.8 percent reduction that TDCI approved for a March 1, 2017, effective date.  Insurance carriers combine NCCI’s loss cost filings with company experience and expenses to develop insurance rates.

The Commissioner has 90 days from the August 24 filing date to make a decision on the filing. The NCCI filing will be presented before the Advisory Council on Workers’ Compensation later this fall and the Council has until October 23rd to deliver a recommendation to the Commissioner on the proposed reduction.

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