California workers compensation rates are on their way down, but remain expensive

The premiums dropped across the country, but those in the state still come with the highest price.

A new study shows that California workers compensation rates have followed the dropping trend seen across the country. The coverage is becoming more affordable nationwide. That said, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services found that California’s rates are still among the highest.

California’s rates for workers’ compensation coverage are among the worst in the United States.

The department published its Oregon Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate Ranking Summary, a report it issues once every two years. According to the findings in the report, rates for California workers compensation remain higher than much of the rest of the country. That said, on the whole, including in that state, there was a decrease in the cost of the coverage.

Data from 51 jurisdictions was analyzed in order to calculate the premium rate indices as of January 1. The average value for 2018 was $1.70, which represents a 7.6 percent drop from the 2016 average. In that year, the median rate had been $1.84 according to the last published study’s data. This recent decrease in the average represents the largest drop recorded since 2012.

Overall, California workers compensation rates are falling but remain quite costly.

We’ve noticed that generally everyone’s still moving down,” said the report’s co-author, Jay Dotter. “It’s the most we’ve seen for a while.” The other author of the report was Chris Day.

The report provides indexed workers compensation premiums from every state across the country. While the completed version of the report won’t be published for another two months, its early data has been released. The final publication is expected to provide additional details, such as each state’s classification code rankings.

According to Day, almost every state experienced a reduction in workers’ compensation premiums in the US. That said, neither Day nor the report proposed a reason to explain why the premiums are experiencing a falling trend.

California Workers Compensation - Construction WorkerCalifornia workers compensation rates were second highest in the country, with only New York’s premiums being higher, on average. The Californian index rate was $2.87, which was 169 percent of the study’s national average.

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