Blog: Vermont Businesses to See Decrease in Workers’ Compensation … – Office of Governor Phil Scott

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott and Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) Commissioner Kevin Gaffney today announced that Vermont businesses will see another rate decrease in workers’ compensation insurance in 2023. This will mark the seventh consecutive year for such cuts. The rate reduction, which takes effect April 1, will save Vermont employers more than $11 million in premiums in 2023.

“Reducing the costs of doing business in Vermont is critical if we hope to attract and retain employers in our state, and this will make a difference,” said Governor Scott. “I want to thank our team at the Department of Financial Regulation for overseeing the rate approval process, ensuring workers are well-protected while their employers obtain the best coverage at the most cost-efficient rates.”

The multi-year decreases reflect the continuing efforts of Vermont employers to maintain safe workplaces and a continued focus by the Department on workers’ compensation insurance. The 2023 rate reduction follows many years of decreasing loss trends: -2.5 percent for indemnity (wage replacement) and -3.0 percent for medical claim costs in 2023. The Department expects the trend of decreasing claim frequency to continue. Vermont employers will pay nearly 47 percent less in workers’ compensation premiums than they did in 2016.

Employers purchase workers compensation through one of two markets: the voluntary market and the assigned risk market. Loss costs are the primary component of workers’ compensation rates. In the voluntary market — the open competitive market — loss costs will decrease by an average of 6.7 percent. About 90 percent of Vermont employers acquire voluntary market coverage. In the assigned risk market — the market for employers unable to obtain coverage in the voluntary market — rates will decrease by an average of 6.9 percent. The continued rate relief in the assigned risk market is particularly good news for new businesses which are often required to obtain coverage through this market due to a lack of a claims history.

A history of recent rate activity in Vermont for the voluntary and assigned risk markets can be found below:

Effective Date

Loss Cost Change

Assigned Risk Rate Change

4/1/2017

-7.9%

-8.0%

4/1/2018

-3.7%

-7.6%

4/1/2019

-5.1%

-9.2%

4/1/2020

-11.6%

-12.1%

4/1/2021

-5.5%

-4.6%

4/1/2022

-4.9%

-5.6%

4/1/2023

-6.7%

-6.9%

Rate changes vary by industry and classification. However, several key Vermont industries with historically high rates had significant decreases in 2021 and 2022, and most of these employers will see additional reductions in 2023. Some sectors of the skiing industry will experience rate reductions of 5 percent to 16 percent, while the dairy farming industry will see rate relief between about 6 percent and 7 percent. Breweries can expect rate decreases of about 15 percent.

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