California´s workers´ compensation insurance rates have dropped an average of more than ten percent since lawmakers adopted a series of cost-cutting measures. But state Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi says greater decreases are possible. The workers´ comp insurance rates paid by California employers shot up dramatically in recent years, increasing 200 percent to 300 percent for some businesses.
Lawmakers responded last fall and this spring with legislation that, among other things, imposed new limits on benefits for injured workers and capped charges by doctors, pharmacies and outpatient clinics in workers´ comp cases.
In the wake of the changes, Garamendi urged insurers in May to slash rates nearly 21 percent for policies that were renewed or purchased starting July 1st. An insurance industry spokeswoman says some companies are reacting cautiously because not all of the changes adopted by lawmakers have taken effect.