Workers’ comp premiums to be cut nearly 10%

At a time when insurance costs are skyrocketing, Colorado employers could see premiums for workers’ compensation insurance cut as much as $84 million.

Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marcy Morrison said a 9.7 percent reduction in insurance premiums, known as loss costs, will go into effect next year.

Savings to consumers will be significant, but smaller than the maximum projection because rate filings will be made by insurance companies before the reduction begins Jan. 1, she said.

The loss cost reduction is based on a continuing decrease in the number of claims filed during 2008, she said.

“Workers’ compensation insurance loss costs have declined more than 50 percent since 2000, and this year’s decrease represents the eighth decrease in nine years,” Morrison said. “This continuing trend indicates that workplaces are much safer than they have been in the past.”

Loss costs equal the average cost of lost wages and medical payments of workers injured on the job.

More than 200 companies are licensed to sell workers’ compensation insurance in Colorado. The largest, Pinnacol Assurance, accounts for nearly 50 percent of the market.