Saturday, September 23, 2006

New California rate cut urged for workers' comp

New rate cut urged for workers' comp

Continuing a dramatic turnaround, a key industry group is proposing California employers get another price break on their workers' compensation insurance. The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California recommended late Thursday that Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi urge insurers to cut rates by 6.3 percent. The decrease would extend a three-year cost-cutting trend in California, which once boasted the nation's highest costs to treat job-related injuries. If adopted by Garamendi later this year, the recommended rate cuts would add up to 58 percent since July 2003. The bureau cautioned, though, that a workers' compensation measure before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger could wipe out the proposed 6.3 percent rate cut and boost rates by 1.8 percent starting Jan. 1. Senate Bill 815, by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, calls for doubling the number of weeks a permanently disabled worker would receive benefits over the next three years, starting in 2007..

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