Workers’ compensation insurance rates are set to increase by an average of 3.7 percent in Idaho in 2011, said Donna Daniel, insurance analyst senior with the state Department of Insurance. Rates are headed higher for the first time since 2005.
Claims are staying open longer because of the recession, as injured employees who do not have a job to return to continue to receive benefits, she said. Claims increased in number and average cost, and companies’ expenses rose, she said.
Idaho’s 3.7 average rate boost for 2011 is based on National Council on Compensation Insurance recommendations. It includes percentage-point increases of 2.2 for experience and insurers’ financial trends, 0.4 for benefits due to a medical fee schedule change, and 1.1 for insurance company expenses, Daniel said.
Workers’ compensation insurers in Idaho can file with the state Department of Insurance to deviate from NCCI rates overall or by industry class, she said.
Idaho rates went unchanged in 2006 and then dropped each year from 2007 to 2010. Rates went down 2.6 percent in 2010 and 3.8 percent in 2009.