Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Opposes $40 Million Workers' Compensation Insurance Rate Hike Proposal
Workers' compensation insurers seek to raise rates more than 4%; Coakley to challenge industry request in administrative rate trial
"Businesses, particularly small businesses, are already struggling in these difficult economic times and cannot afford to overpay for insurance coverage," said Attorney General Coakley. "We have serious concerns about the insurers' proposed rate hike and the additional strain that it would put on employers. Businesses are mandated under state law to purchase workers' compensation insurance, and they deserve fair rates to ensure that they can comply without having to layoff additional workers. Our office will intervene in the rate proceeding to protect the public interest and work to block these unnecessary increases."
Attorney General Coakley's Office has historically played a key role in keeping workers' compensation rates affordable and has saved customers tens of millions of dollars. In February 2008, WCRIB submitted a filing to the Division of Insurance seeking a 2.3% rate increase for companies purchasing workers' compensation insurance policies. The Attorney General's Office intervened in the action, noting that average rates were too high and commenced litigation on behalf of Massachusetts insurance customers. The insurers then agreed to settle the matter by reducing rates by 1%. This resolution saved Massachusetts businesses $30 million.
In 2007, the Attorney General's Office litigated another workers' compensation industry rate request, and successfully obtained a 16.9% rate rollback for Massachusetts businesses. As a result, Massachusetts's businesses saved $169 million in workers' compensation insurance premiums.
This matter is being handled by Attorney General Coakley's Insurance and Financial Services Division.