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Overall Rate Cut of over 35% Since 1995

Superintendent Gregory V. Serio today announced that there will be no overall increase for workers’ compensation rates in the coming year. Combined with a decrease in the assessment, the net effect will be an overall reduction of 1.8% in workers’ compensation rates. Since 1995, New York State has seen an overall reduction of 35% percent the 7th consecutive year that New Yorkers have been spared workers’ compensation rate increases.

"The Governor’s 1996 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. We have transformed what seven years ago was one of the worst workers' compensation systems conceivable into one of the best in the nation and one highlighted by long term rate stability," said Serio. "We are making New York State even more competitive, helping us attract new jobs and industry. It is clear that the reforms championed by Governor Pataki in 1996 continue to work for New Yorkers."

The overall 1.8% reduction will take effect October 1, 2001, and will be reflected in rate notices that insurers will send to employers immediately. Since 1994, assessments have been levied to operate certain specialized workers’ compensation funds. This is the first time in several years that assessments have been reduced.

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 The law repealed Dole v. Dow, a court-imposed standard that permitted New York employers to be sued by manufacturers of injury-causing equipment; improved workplace safety by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 last year. 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
1997 -7.5
1998 -3.1
1999 0
2000 - 2.5
2001 0

"The Department’s decision to keep stable workers’ compensation rates for this year provides for the continued restoration of the worker’s compensation system which means more and better jobs for New Yorkers and ensures New York's strong economic vitality," added Serio.

Department of Financial Services


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