- Associated Press - Saturday, October 31, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - State officials say workers’ compensation insurance rates in Louisiana are likely to drop next year by 2.7 percent.

The Department of Insurance and the Louisiana Workforce Commission say the cut was recommended by the National Council on Compensation Insurance. It is expected to take effect May 1 - pending final approval from Department of Insurance officials.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon’s office says most Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance carriers use the NCCI’s annual cost filing to formulate rates.

Officials attribute the decrease to a competitive market, the implementation of guidelines to improve treatment and to the fact that workplaces are reporting fewer and less severe injuries.

Donelon’s office said the 2016 reduction will mark an overall drop in workers’ compensation rates of 38 percent since 2006 and 51 percent since 1996.

“Today, better health care is delivered sooner, injured workers are taken care of equitably and business and industry can spend more of their time, money and attention on operating and growing their businesses rather than on unproductive fights in court,” Curt Eysink, executive director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission said in a news release.

Donelon noted the growth in the number of carriers.

“In 2007, there were 197 companies writing workers comp; by the end of 2014 we had 235 companies writing here - an increase of 19 percent,” said Commissioner Donelon. “That competition is also bringing costs down, with companies today paying nearly 40 percent less for the same coverage as they were 10 years ago.”

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