US workers' compensation insurers lowered rates in three dozen states during the first quarter, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis.
The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. led the field by securing approval for 79 rate cuts across nine states for an aggregate calculated premium change of $22.3 million.
AmTrust Financial Services Inc. was second, receiving approvals for 39 rate reductions in the quarter for an aggregate calculated premium change of $20.3 million.
The largest single rate decrease was a 5% rate cut by Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Co. that will lower its premiums by $9.7 million. The rate reduction went into effect on Jan. 1 for both new and renewal businesses and is expected to affect about 13,500 policyholders.
Georgia, South Carolina approve hundreds of cuts
Regulators in Georgia were highly active as workers' comp insurers operating in the state obtained approvals for 206 rate decreases, for an aggregate calculated premium decrease of $116.1 million. South Carolina was also very active during the quarter, as its regulator signed off on 314 rate decreases for an aggregate calculated premium change of $60.1 million.
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Sirius increases rates
There were fewer rate increases across the country than during the previous quarter, with the most significant rate hike in California. SiriusPoint Ltd. secured an 8.3% rate increase there for a calculated premium change of $6.6 million. The new rate went into effect on Feb. 24 for both new and renewal businesses.
All figures in this analysis are based on as-reported numbers filed in the rate filings of each subsidiary in each state. The calculated premium change is not a final projection of the additional premium the insurer may receive in the upcoming year. The calculated premium change is reported by each insurer to reflect the most impactful premium changes based on the combined impact of the percentage change and the amount of business it affects. Changes to an insurer's policy mix or policies in force are not factored into this analysis.
US states employ a variety of rate regulation mechanisms, including prior approval, modified prior approval, file and use as well as use and file. Some states do not require explicit regulatory approval prior to insurers using new rates. This analysis is based on when rate filings are "disposed" by state regulators and does not always take into account when those new rates became effective for new and renewal business. In some instances, a new rate may have been in effect prior to the month the filing was approved by the regulator.