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Calif. workers comp insurers boost premiums an average 3%: WCIRB


Rates charged by California workers compensation insurers during the first six months this year rose an average of 3% over the same period last year, according to the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California.

The average rate increased to $2.37 per $100 of payroll for policies written during the first six months of this year, the WCIRB said in a report released Tuesday.

Despite the increase, insurer rates at the end of the first half of 2011 were about 62% lower than those charged in 2003, the San Francisco-based organization reported.

Meanwhile, California's workers comp insurers' written premiums increased approximately 10% to about $5.5 billion when comparing the first six months of 2011 to the same period in 2010.

The report, “Summary of June 30, 2011 Insurer Experience,” also estimated that insurers' combined ratio for the 2010 accident year reached 128%.

“While comparable to the accident year 2009 estimate, the combined ratios for each of the last two years are the highest since 2001,” according to the report.

Among other data, the WCIRB projected that the average cost, or severity, of a 2010 indemnity claim will reach approximately $64,000. That did not change much from 2009, but it was about 40% more than the average in 2005, when reforms were fully implemented.