The North Carolina Rate Bureau proposed a 4.4 percent average decrease in workers’ compensation rates earlier this month after three years of higher rates.
Improved workplace safety and lower claims costs are the two main reasons for the proposed rate cut, said Ray Evans, managing director of the Rate Bureau.
The North Carolina Department of Insurance has 60 days to act on the proposal.
The proposed decrease comes after years of rate increases—9.3 percent in 2005, 7.3 percent in 2006 and 1.6 percent last year. Evans said that rates in North Carolina have always been higher than some other states for several reasons, including pharmacy costs.
“North Carolina has always been a little bit behind when it comes to workers’ compensation insurance rates compared to other states,” he said. “Our system works pretty well here and we feel comfortable with it. I think we’re right where we ought to be now.”
By industry group, the Rate Bureau proposed the following rate decreases: manufacturing, 3.5 percent; contracting, 4.1 percent; office and clerical, 7.8 percent; goods and services, 3 percent; and miscellaneous, 0.9 percent.
If the rate decrease is approved, it will take effect April 1, 2009.