New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED: 7/11/2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK INSURANCE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES WORKERS’ COMPENSATION RATES;
AVERAGE RATE LEVEL TO REMAIN UNCHANGED
Overall Rate Cuts over 35% Since 1995

          Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio announced today that there will be no change in the average workers’ compensation rate in New York State. Combined with a 1.2 percent decrease in assessments, this will mark the 8th consecutive year overall average rates remained stable or were decreased. Since 1995, New York State has seen an overall reduction of over 35 percent-- an over 28 percent reduction since the historic 1996 workers’ compensation reforms.

          "The decision to keep workers’ compensation rates stable again this year provides for the continued restoration of the worker’s compensation system--which means even more jobs for New Yorkers and ensures New York's strong economic vitality. It is clear that the reforms championed by Governor Pataki in 1996 continue to work for New Yorkers," said Serio. "The reforms have made it possible for New York to make tremendous progress in reining in the cost of workers' compensation, while ensuring essential benefits to injured workers."

          The rate decision will take effect October 1, 2002, and will be reflected in rate notices that insurers will send to employers immediately. In addition, the approved rate includes a new disaster preparedness component. For the first time, the State will allow insurers to build "catastrophe loads" into their reserves to better manage potential disasters and ensure continued stability in the workers’ compensation system.

          The changes contained in the New York State Employment, Safety and Security Act, signed by the Governor on September 10, 1996 have reduced workers’ compensation costs for employers, while improving workplace safety. The law repealed Dole v. Dow, a court-imposed standard that permitted New York employers to be sued by manufacturers of injury-causing equipment; improved workplace safety by creating a new "safety first" mandate; and continues to fight fraud by making the crime of workers’ compensation fraud a felony, and by the creation of a Workers’ Compensation Inspector General.

          In 1995 rates were reduced by 8.4 percent and in 1996 rates fell by 18 percent. In 1997 rates decreased an additional 7.5 percent and in 1998 rates were cut by 3.1 percent. After an unchanged rate level in 1999, rates declined 2.5 percent in 2000. Prior to the enactment of the Governor’s reform legislation, New York State had the second highest workers’ compensation costs in the United States.

Workers’ Compensation Rate Decreases

Year

% Rate Change

1995

-8.4

1996

-18.0

1997

-7.5

1998

-3.1

1999

0

2000

- 2.5

2001

0

2002

0


OPINION AND DECISON
In the Matter of Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rate Application of the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board
(PDF Format)


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