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Workers’ compensation insurance rates are continuing to climb sharply in the North Bay this year, a trend that the region’s brokers attribute to the rising health care costs and increasing medical utilization that have helped inspire a third round of recommended rate increases by California’s insurance commissioner.

Carriers are free to set their own rates, and the bureau’s rates are merely advisory. Yet as combined recommendations have surpassed a 40 percent increase this year, experts have said that some providers are now offering rates that are sometimes double those in 2011.

Most employers can expect premium increases to the tune of 8 percent to 20 percent.

Read more about rapidly rising workers' comp rates in the Business Insurance report to be published in the July 9 issue of the Business Journal.