Workers’ comp rates to fall again in NH

Loss costs from injuries dropped 1.8 percent last year
Chris Nicolopolous

New Hampshire Insurance Department Commissioner Chris Nicolopoulos

Here is some good news for New Hampshire employers: While unemployment tax rates are going up, another major payroll deduction – workers’ compensation – is continuing to go down, though not as much as in recent years, according to the New Hampshire Insurance Department.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance, or NCCI, which calculates claims for insurance carriers, says losses have gone down by 1.8%, on average, in New Hampshire, a figure approved by the Insurance Department.

The loss cost is the portion of an employer’s insurance premium that pays claims costs for work-related injuries. The loss cost is ultimately used by insurers to set rates and premiums in the voluntary market, so those rates should go down – as a whole – by roughly the same amount.

Still, individual rates depend on your carrier, your industry and your experience. Manufacturing and contracting costs went down the most: 3.2% and 3.1%, respectively.  Only rates for “miscellaneous” industries have gone up, by 1.2%. That category includes tree pruners, drivers, air line crews, utility workers and garbage collectors.

Losses have been going down for quite some time.  In New Hampshire, they fell by 9.6% in voluntary loss cases, 14% the year before that and 13.3% the year before that.

All told, losses are down 51%, since 2014.  In other words, they are n0w just under half of what they were six years ago.

The latest decrease has nothing to do with the pandemic.  NCCI’s recommendation isn’t based on this year losses, but the year before.

But it does have something to do with people getting injured less and getting back to work faster. From 2010 to 2018, frequency of workers’ compensation claims have decreased by a quarter, and the amount paid per claim has fallen 5%.  Also, the average medical paid per claim has decreased by 7.5%.

New Hampshire is in line with 37 other states that use NCCI,  according to an Insurance Department spokesperson, so there is no reason to pat ourselves on the back.

Still, “it is encouraging to see continued stability in the workers’ compensation market,” said Insurance Department Commissioner Chris Nicolopoulos. “Continued low insurance rates provide stability for employers during a time of financial uncertainty for many New Hampshire businesses.”


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