December 04, 2019

Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance recommends decrease in workers’ compensation rates for 2020

Jefferson City, Mo – The Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance is recommending a 1.6 percent decrease in workers’ compensation insurance loss costs for 2020. This marks the sixth year in a row that average workers’ compensation rates will decrease.

The 1.6 percent decrease in loss costs between Jan. 1, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2020 is driven by declining lost-time claim frequencies. Increasing average medical claim costs partially offset the decrease.

“Missouri’s lost-time claim frequency continues to decrease due to safety improvements in the workplace, but average medical claim costs have increased every year since 2014,” said Department of Commerce and Insurance Director Chlora Lindley-Myers. “Recommended loss costs are decreasing for 2020, but the magnitude of the decrease has fallen since 2019 due to the rise in average claim costs. I encourage employers to shop around for the best workers’ comp rates. The department provides an online rate checker to assist employers with comparison shopping.”

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 2020, regardless of the recommendations made.

Both the NCCI and the department propose an overall loss cost decrease of 1.6 percent for policies effective Jan. 1, 2020.

The NCCI’s proposed average changes in loss costs by industry group are shown below:

Manufacturing: -0.7%
Contracting: -1.7%
Office and Clerical: -1.6%
Goods and Services: -1.9%
Miscellaneous: -1.8%

The NCCI’s 2020 loss cost filing and the department’s independent actuarial review are available on the department’s website.