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3.4% comp rate hike recommended for Virginia

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Despite recommending loss-cost reductions in most states, the National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. is recommending a 3.4% increase in Virginia's workers compensation loss-cost rates.

The proposed overall 3.4% hike is partly due to an increase in medical severity, Boca Raton, Florida-based NCCI said at its Virginia Advisory Forum presentation Thursday. It's the highest recommended loss-cost increase this year.

NCCI recommended loss-cost increases in only seven of the 38 jurisdictions in which its experience rating plan applies. In addition to Virginia, NCCI proposed increases in Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Washington D.C

While indemnity benefits in Virginia make up 35% of total benefits costs, medical benefits make up 65%, according to NCCI. Countrywide, however, indemnity benefits constitute 41% of total benefits costs and medical benefits constitute 59%.

Meanwhile, insurers reported an improved combined ratio of 103% in Virginia in 2014, down from 105% in 2013 and 109% in 2012, according to NCCI.

If approved, Virginia's 3.4% loss-cost increase will take effect in April 2016.