Insurance: Poizner cautions against workers' comp increases

Also: U.S. Labor rule would stop collection of genetic informationLast week, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner stood by earlier hints that he would not accept a workers’ compensation rate increase, despite just about every sign that they should go up and already have for many.

[caption id="attachment_16716" align="alignright" width="108" caption="Steve Poizner"][/caption]

“Given these harsh economic realities, I refuse to rubber stamp double-digit increases to the Workers' Compensation Claims Cost Benchmark,” the commissioner said in an announcement Nov. 9, adding that more can still be done by insurers to reduce front-end costs.

The announcement was expected in many ways following an October statement by the future gubernatorial candidate that said any rate increase would have, “a devastating effect on small business,” though he did officially make a decision at the time.

The decision to make no change to rates marks the fourth consecutive time the commissioner has rejected a suggested increase by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau, which calculates changes based on losses and rates submitted by insurers. The rate recommendations are meant as a benchmark for carriers and are not mandated.

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