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California's insurer of last resort cuts workers' comp rates sharply in H1

A rate decrease of 10.4% by California's State Compensation Insurance Fund could be the most-significant rate reduction approved in the workers' compensation business during the first half of the year, according to a S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis.

The new rates for the California fund, which were approved in late January, may result in a decline of $135.8 million in calculated premiums written. More than 106,600 policyholders could be affected by the rate reduction.

State Compensation Insurance Fund, California's insurer of last resort, was the second-largest workers' comp writer in the Golden State in 2018. Statutory data shows that it wrote $1.34 billion in direct written premiums that year, controlling 10.87% of the market.

Chubb Ltd. received the most number of rate-cut approvals in first half of 2019. Regulators approved 173 workers' comp rate reductions across 21 states; they could potentially result in a combined premium decrease of $275.1 million.

Rate changes across the country in the workers' comp space were predominately decreases. Altogether, the regulators approved 4,626 rate filings of which 2,784 resulted in premium reductions, 695 resulted in premium increases and rest had no impact on written premiums.

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