Workers comp rates headed up, experts say

Bureau recommendation of 40% hike unlikely; but medical inflation is a reality

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NORTH BAY – The body that oversees and makes recommendations on workers’ compensation rates recently submitted a filing of cost drivers, a move that could be the first step before it recommends brokers raise premium rates by as much as 40 percent.

But while the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau mulls over making the recommendation on premiums, insurance executives in the North Bay said that although rates may still increase, they likely would not be near the rate that the bureau has recommended.

“This workers comp market is still very volatile in nature,” said Michael Lopez, vice president of Vantreo Insurance Brokerage in Santa Rosa, noting that earlier this year, the bureau recommended a pure premium rate increase of 27 percent.

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