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NCCI 2020 WC loss cost decrease of 11.6% approved

The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation approved the original workers’ compensation voluntary loss cost filing made by the National Council on Compensation Insurance—consisting of an overall 11.6% decrease—on Feb. 6, 2020. In addition, a decrease of 12.1% of the overall assigned risk rates was approved as filed. These loss costs and rates take effect Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

NCCI made the following key observations that impact loss costs and rates in Vermont:

  • The financial data experience period evaluated as of Dec. 31, 2018, shows continued improvement when compared with data evaluated as of Dec. 31, 2017.
  • Vermont’s lost-time claim frequency decreased 3.3% in the latest complete policy year available (2017).
  • After adjusting to a common wage level, the indemnity average cost per case appears relatively stable, while the medical average cost per case declined in the latest complete policy year.

Key components

Components of the -11.6% loss cost reduction include changes in: 1. experience at -11.1%; 2. trend at 1.2%; 3. benefits at 0.0%; and 4. loss-based expenses at +0.7%.

Distribution

The overall voluntary loss cost change can be broken down by industry sector as follows: manufacturing (-12.3%); contracting (-12.2%); office and clerical (-9.8%); goods and services (-12.7%); and miscellaneous (-9.3%). Keep in mind that the loss costs and rates for individual classifications may vary significantly. These are available to members by accessing QS44007 in PIA’s QuickSource library.

Benefit change

There were no benefit changes impacting industrial class codes in this year’s filing. The state average weekly wage is $874, effective July 1, 2018. Therefore, the maximum workers’ compensation indemnity benefit (150% of SAWW) is $1,311, and the minimum workers’ compensation indemnity benefit (50% of SAWW) is $437 for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 2018.

Terrorism/Catastrophe

The terrorism loss cost remains at 0.005 and the terrorism assigned risk rate remains at 0.01. The catastrophe (other than certified acts of terrorism) loss cost and assigned risk rate also remain at 0.01.

Maximum/minimum payroll

You will notice that the maximum payroll for executive officers and limited liability company members increases from $3,500 to $3,600, but the minimum payroll increases from $850 to $900. The premium basis for sole proprietors and partners increases from $45,400 to $46,900.

Split point

The third and final year of the split point transition period for experience rating was 2015. In each subsequent loss cost filing, the split point will be indexed by the countrywide severity change. The split point increases from $17,000 to $17,500 for 2020

Loss cost multipliers

In order to convert voluntary lost costs to rates, the insurer’s loss cost multiplier must be applied. These LCMs are filed with the DFR and are changed periodically by individual insurers. However, these changes do not need to coincide with the loss costs approved April 1, 2019. The current list of insurer LCMs is located in QS44007 in PIA’s QuickSource library.

Assigned risk plan

The 2020 assigned risk loss cost multiplier decreases to 1.421 from the 2019 multiplier of 1.429. The expense constant remains at $160 and the maximum minimum premium of $1,200 does not change. Also, the flat differential, which reflects the general experience of risks in this market, remains at 1.20%. Market share in the plan has remained relatively stable, at 13.2% in 2017.

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