Workers Comp premiums to rise next year

Colorado employers will face a small increase in workers compensation premiums in 2011, said the Colorado Division of Insurance.

Commissioner Marcy Morrison announced a component of the premiums, known as loss costs, will increase by 3.4 percent. Loss costs are the average cost of lost wages and medical payments of workers injured during the course of their employment.

The increase marks the first one in 10 years. The frequency of claims went down, but the cost of claims went up significantly.

Workers compensation premiums went down in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Factors which may increase workers compensation costs include: number of claims per number of workers, length of claim, number of treatments, the severity of injury, increasing medical costs and overall costs to cover the claims.

More than 200 companies sell workers compensation insurance in Colorado.