On August 6, 2009, West Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jane L. Cline approved a loss cost filing by the state workers’ compensation insurance companies that will result in a 6% decrease across the state. Loss cost is the estimated amount that insurers need to pay all medical and indemnity costs associated with yearly workers compensation claims. This is the base rate onto which insurers add their administrative costs and profit figures for annual totals.
According to Cline, the result of this decision will cause 80% of the state’s employers to see lower or stabilized premiums. She also stated that the loss cost of West Virginia has decreased by 40 percent since the system was privatized in January of 2006. This new loss cost decrease will become effective on November 1, 2009.
So what does this mean for West Virginia workers? Speculation around the issue suggests that it may mean more jobs for employees, since businesses will have more disposable income due to lower premiums. However, with recent economic troubles, many companies will use the savings to defray net losses from 2008 and 2009. Still others will make it tougher on employees with workers comp claims to collect benefits in attempts to cut costs further.
If you’ve been the victim of a workplace injury and aren’t sure whether to accept a workers comp offer of benefits or have been denied altogether, contact a reliable lawyer in West Virginia to help you with your case. A lawyer knows the ins and outs of workers comp law and can help you devise a legal strategy to give you time to recover from your injury with minimal financial impact to your life.