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New Delaware workers' comp insurance rates approved, rates drop for a sixth straight year

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s Department of Insurance announces this year’s final approved changes to workers compensation insurance rates.

For a sixth straight year employers are seeing decreasing rates for the insurance that provides payouts to workers injured on the job.

Premiums in the voluntary market – the insurance market for most employers – will fall by roughly 20 percent.

Premiums in the residual market - sometimes referred to as the “option of last resort” for employers that can’t afford voluntary market insurance because their business is new, small, or involves hazardous work – will fall by nearly 15 percent.

The final rates were approved following a review of the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau (DCRB) filing by independent actuaries and a public hearing with DCRB and the State’s Ratepayer Advocate.

Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro says the decrease in residual market premiums indicates those policies are being used less frequently as more employers are able to afford the voluntary market.

Overall, Navarro notes the consistent decreases in workers compensation insurance rates reflect a decrease in the number of serious workplace injuries in the state. The rate decreases will not impact the amount of compensation injured workers receive.

Paul Kiefer comes to Delaware from Seattle, where he covered policing, prisons and public safety for the local news site PubliCola.