Make workers’ comp rates mandatory |

Make workers’ comp rates mandatory

I am an employer of four employees, and an attorney who helps injured workers in Nevada County. I am enduring rising workers’ compensation premiums along with everyone else.

It is outrageous that the insurance companies continue to overcharge employers, even those employers that manage safe, claims-free businesses. There are over 200 insurance companies writing workers’ compensation policies in California and enjoying record profits at our expense.

The fundamental flaw in the workers’ comp system is that comp insurance companies were deregulated in 1990. Today, they are allowed to charge whatever they can get away with. For example, the Legislature recently passed reforms reducing the costs in the system by about $5 billion annually. The insurance companies simply ignored the rate decrease of 14.9 percent recommended by the state insurance commissioner. Two insurance companies had the audacity to raise their rates by 27.5 percent!

Rates recommended by the insurance commissioner must be mandatory, not voluntary. This critical first “reform” would actually pass the savings on to us, the employers. Curiously, this is not a part of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s proposed reforms.” But, then again, he just received a $100,000 donation from a workers’ comp insurance company. So what’s new in Sacramento?

Bradlee Welton

Nevada City

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