Missouri department recommends rate increase for workers’ compensation

The state’s commerce and insurance department has proposed a 1.0 percent increase in workers’ compensation insurance loss costs in 2021. If passed, the increase would be the first seen in six years.

The Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance is recommending a 1.0 percent increase in workers’ compensation insurance loss costs for 2021. This marks the first time in six years that average workers’ compensation rates will increase.

This slight increase is attributable to a 0.5% increase in experience, trend and benefit changes and a 0.5% increase in loss based expenses. 

Prospective loss costs are intended to cover indemnity and medical payments for injured workers and some of the expenses associated with providing these benefits. Insurers use loss costs to set their workers’ comp rates. Every year, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), an industry-funded group, files advisory loss costs with the department. The department reviews the NCCI’s methodology and assumptions and develops its own recommended loss costs. Under Missouri law, insurers may set their rates based on the NCCI’s recommendations, the department’s recommendations, or their own actuarial analysis. Insurers are not required to change their rates in 2021, regardless of the recommendations made.

Both the NCCI and the department propose an overall loss cost increase of 1.0 percent for policies effective Jan. 1, 2021.