New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED 8/28/2003

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK INSURANCE DEPARTMENT APPROVES AVERAGE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION RATE OF +1.7% AFTER REJECTING +11.3% INITIAL FILING
Maintains Stability In Marketplace That Has Seen 33% Overall Rate Reduction Since 1995

          Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio announced today that the Department has approved a 1.7% average workers’ compensation rate increase in New York State. New York State has seen an overall reduction of 33% since 1995 – a 27% reduction since the historic 1996 workers’ compensation reforms.

          Following the Department’s initial decision to deny the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board’s (NYCIRB) rate increase request of 11.3% because it was not supported in NYCIRB’s filing to the Department nor information provided at a public hearing, the NYCIRB made a subsequent filing request for a 3.7% rate increase on July 18th. The Department ultimately approved a rate increase of 1.7%.

          "The Department continued to work aggressively with NYCIRB after their filing requests failed to adequately address the Department’s concerns resulting in the Department’s final determination that a 1.7% overall rate increase is adequate," said Serio. "This rate approval affords New York State continued stability in the workers’ compensation marketplace which began in 1996 with the implementation of the workers’ compensation reforms championed by the Governor."

          The rate decision will take effect December 1, 2003, and will be reflected in rate notices that insurers will send to employers immediately.

          The New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board serves as the advisory rate service organization for workers’ compensation in New York State. All workers’ compensation insurers must send statistics to the NYCIRB, which compiles and evaluates data and proposes rate changes that are subject to the Insurance Department’s prior approval.

          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 The law repealed Dole v. Dow, a court-imposed standard that permitted New York employers to be sued by manufacturers of injury-causing equipment; improved workplace safety by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 and remained stable in 2001 and 2002. 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 Changes

Year

% Rate Change

1995

-8.4

1996

-18.0

1997

-7.5

1998

-3.1

1999

0

2000

- 2.5

2001

0

2002

0

2003

+1.7

 


News HOME