DE Leads Nation In Improving WC Insurance Premiums
Wilmington, DE (CompNewsNetwork) - Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn announced today that Delaware, as a result of efforts made between 2006 and 2008, has improved more than any other state in America in holding down the cost to businesses of paying workers compensation insurance premiums. Denn made the announcement, along with former State Representative William Oberle, Senate President Pro Tem Anthony Deluca, and leaders from the state's business, medical, and legal sectors, to emphasize the improved business climate in the state of Delaware.
Delaware's workers compensation premiums, which were once as bad as the third highest in America, have dropped down to 34th among the 50 states. No other state in America saw such a significant drop in its workers compensation premium rankings in the two year period since the last national study. Delaware's rates, which were once the highest in the region, are now lower than the rates in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Denn stated that the dramatic change in Delaware's rankings was due to two efforts. One was legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2007 that allowed the state to hold down the medical costs associated with workplace injuries. This legislative effort, spearheaded by Oberle and Deluca, took place over a period of months and involved bi-partisan participation from business and labor leaders, regulators, attorneys, and doctors.
The second cause of the dramatic rate drop was a series of rate reductions that Denn ordered as Insurance Commissioner in 2007 and 2008, when he determined that insurance companies were charging higher premiums than their costs warranted. The insurance industry unsuccessfully challenged these rate reductions in court in 2008.
Together, these efforts created a 45% average reduction in workers compensation premiums for Delaware businesses, and caused Delaware's status relative to other states to dramatically improve. The 45% rate reduction also injected tens of millions of dollars into Delaware's economy to help soften the blow of the national economic downturn.
Denn said that the new national rankings were important for three reasons:
"To emphasize to businesses that may be thinking of where to locate that Delaware is driving down the cost of doing business here;
To demonstrate the good things that happen when Delawareans put aside partisan affiliation and self-interest and work to do what is best for the state; and
To emphasize that Delaware's new standing requires constant vigilance, in the form of scrutiny of the insurance industry and constant updating of the state's new medical care guidelines."
Denn thanked the legislative leaders and members of the state's Health Care Advisory Panel, including Joe Rhoades, Bruce Rudin, Barry Heckler, and Richard Heffron, for the extraordinary time that they had invested in creating the state's new ranking.
The national rankings are prepared by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services every two years. There is time delay between the enactment of reforms and changes in the rankings, because it can take 18 months from the time that new rates are ordered to the time that they show up in policyholders' premiums.
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