Workers’ compensation premiums to rise by nearly 15%
The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has released data recommending workers’ compensation rate increases of 11.6% for Missouri employers. In addition to these rate increases, an additional 3% of work comp premiums will be extracted from employers to pay an increased surcharge for the Second Injury Fund. The recommendation is based on very large claims that were paid in 2011 combined with the impacts of Senate Bill 1 that was passed in the 2013 legislative session. Even worse, these projections do NOT include any increases in rates due to guaranteed payments for toxic exposure diseases that were also contained in Senate Bill 1.
“While these amounts are shocking, they do not account for the ‘worst in the nation’ guaranteed payments that will be made due to toxic exposure diseases,” said Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri. “These rate increases are the highest of the states contained in the NCCI report, and it will only get worse for Missouri employers.”
The recommended increases by filing group showed that manufacturers, as a group, should see a total 11.3% increase; office and clerical workers a 12.1% increase; goods and services sector a 15.5% increase; contractors (including construction) will see a 16.4% increase; and the remaining employers will see a 16.7% increase. All of these totals include the 3% increase in Second Injury Fund surcharge that will be assessed by the Department of Labor beginning January 1, 2014.
Associated Industries of Missouri was the only trade group to oppose the mandatory benefits for toxic exposure diseases that was contained in Senate Bill 1 through the end of the 2013 legislative session.
“While the bill contained the clarification that we needed on occupational diseases and brought some much-needed reforms to the Second Injury Fund, we are very worried about the impact of the toxic exposure payouts, once those are fully exploited by the plaintiffs’ bar,” said McCarty.