Colorado’s Workers’ Compensation Rates Remain Low

Aug 21, 2014 | WC & Other Laws

For this year, Colorado remains to have one of the lowest workers’ compensation rate in the US while Alaska took the top spot as the highest and most expensive average compensation in 2012 premium at $3.01 per $100 of payroll, according to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.

North Dakota maintained its ranking of 51st place with $1.01. As compared to other states, Colorado ranked 43 with an average rate of $1.42 effective January of this year. At $1.88, the national median value for 2012 saw a decrease of 8% from the 2010 rate of $2.04. The values are computed based on the rates in effect by 2012 in 51 states. Overall, the increase in workers’ compensation rates is caused by the low investment returns and the rising cost of health benefits.

Workers’ compensation rates are beneficial for both employers and employees. Injuries obtained while on the job are considered to be part of business. This is the main premise why the compensation system was initiated—to ensure that losses are minimal, financial dilemmas are prevented, and the accidents are handled efficiently and fairly on all parties involved.

One of the known advantages of the workers’ compensation coverage is having no need to prove employer liability or negligence in order to process claims. This no-fault setup prevents the hassle of filing lawsuits regardless of the reason or cause of the accident. Moreover, it covers lost salaries and health benefits for injured workers.

Texas and Nevada were seen to have the biggest improvement in ranking. From the $2.38 rate in 2010, Texas plunged 41% in workers’ compensation rate to $1.60. Its 12th ranking was lowered to 38th. On the other hand, Nevada saw a drop from a $2.13 figure in 2010 to $1.33 this year.

While these states have redeemed their rankings, Florida and Washington were identified for a whole different story.

Previously ranked 40th in compensation rates in 2010, Florida moved up to the 29th spot, having a $1.82 premium average rate. An insurance commissioner in Florida, Kevin McCarty pointed out that the state needs to strengthen its legislation to ensure that rates are competitive. The rates previously improved in 2003 when legislative reforms were set in place. The industry took off in the opposite direction in 2010 with cost drivers pushing for an increase in premium rates.

Another state that marked a significant change in ranking is Washington which moved up from 26th to 13th at a $2.11 rate.

Rate increases have been stagnant for the past decade since companies concentrated on safety and cost reduction. Now that the economy is once again starting to pick up, workers’ compensation rates are expected to continually rise with the increase in hiring. For the first half of the year, the industry felt the increases that happened as a result of several economic factors. Experts predict that these increases will continue for the next half of the year.

Are you having problems related to workers’ compensation? Kaplan Morrell’s attorneys have had 15 years of success in getting Colorado workers their benefits. Call us at Kaplan Morrell at 303-780-7329 for a free consultation concerning your claim. Trust only the best and experienced. Contact the law offices of Kaplan Morrell now!