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Calif. comp bureau suggests 6.3% rate decrease


SAN FRANCISCO--The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau on Tuesday recommended a 6.3% pure premium rate decrease for California policies incepting Jan. 1.

The proposal, however, is based on an expectation that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will veto S.B. 815. The legislation is currently on the governor's desk and seeks to double permanent disability benefits over three years.

If the governor does not veto the bill, a 1.8% pure premium rate increase would be appropriate, the WCIRB said.

California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi must approve any WCIRB rate filing and is expected to hold a public hearing. Even with his approval, however, rate filings in California are only recommendations, not mandatory.

In Hawaii, meanwhile, Governor Linda Lingle announced Friday that the National Council on Compensation Insurance filed a request for a 12.3% loss costs decrease. The filing would affect premiums beginning Jan. 1 if approved by the state Insurance Division.