November 18, 2020

Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance recommends increase in workers’ compensation rates for 2021

Jefferson City, Mo – 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. 

“Average medical claim costs have increased every year since 2014,” said Department of Commerce and Insurance Director Chlora Lindley-Myers. “Recommended loss costs are increasing slightly for 2021, due to the rise in average claim costs. The Missouri Workers Compensation Insurance Market remains robust and competitive with 356 carriers currently offering coverage within the state. 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 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.

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

Manufacturing +1.4%
Contracting −1.1%
Office & Clerical +2.3%
Goods & Services +1.7%
Miscellaneous +0.9%

The NCCI’s 2021 loss cost filing and the department’s independent actuarial review are available on the department’s website.