Flash Report: 2019 Rate Cut Deeper Than Carriers Wanted

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones’ has made the rate decision. It is the last of his tenure. It calls for an 8.4% cut in California’s workers’ comp advisory pure premium rates. The change is effective for policies that renew or incept on or after Jan. 1, 2019. California Employers will be happy.

The cut is far deeper than the 4.5% decrease recommended by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.  The Bureau is a private organization with quasi-governmental responsibility. It is financially supported exclusively by insurance carriers in whose interests it operates.

Jones’ decision is squarely in line with the recommendation of Mark Priven – the actuary representing employers and organized labor on the Bureau’s Governing Committee. Priven’s recommendations have consistently been more prescient than the Bureau’s and more contemplative of California’s declining cost trends.

The Bureau’s governing committee, which is dominated by insurance industry executives, rebuffed the public members’ efforts to have Priven’s recommendation adopted. Priven presented his analysis directly to the Commissioner at a rate hearing last month (for past coverage see 2019 Rate…).