Thursday, August 13, 2009

California Crashing: "Rating Bureau suggests 22.8% workers comp rate bump". And: "California default notices up 15% in July"

The WCIRB is described as [insurance] industry supported.
Two from the Silicon Valley Business Journal:

The organization that advises the state on workers’ compensation rates is going to recommend insurers raise their base rates by about 23 percent starting the first of next year.

The Governing Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California decided Wednesday that the 22.8 percent jump in pure premium rates is warranted for new and renewing policies starting Jan. 1, 2010.

The Rating Bureau will offer that advice to state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner early next week.

Poizner can go with the advisory rate that the Rating Bureau suggests, or come up with his own. The commissioner does not have the power to set rates charged to employers, but workers’ comp insurers use the commissioner’s advisory as a benchmark for rates.

The Rating Bureau’s Governing Committee thinks the 22.8 percent boost is needed because medical costs are rising and because the advisory group expects costs to increase as a result of decisions in February by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board which involve permanent disability issues.

The rising medical costs justify a 16 percent increase in the pure premium — also known as the claims cost benchmark, the committee said. The anticipated additional costs stemming from the Appeals Board decisions known as Almaraz/Guzman and Ogilvie warrant a pure premium bump of 5.8 percent, the group said....MORE


Initial default notices in California spiked 15 percent in July over the previous month and the state registered the nation's second highest state foreclosure rate for the third month in a row, according to a report Thursday.

Irvine-based RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure filings, said that one in every 123 California housing units received a foreclosure filing in July, nearly three times the national average. Scheduled auctions in California were down 1 percent from the previous month, but bank repossessions were up 4 percent -- leaving overall foreclosure activity up nearly 7 percent on a month-over-month basis....MORE