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Cost of workers’ comp falls by 15.4 percent
Arkansas’s Workplaces Safer; Drop in Work-Related Accidents Will Lead to Premium Reduction
LITTLE ROCK – A dramatic decrease in the number of work-related injuries in the past two years will lead to a decrease in the cost that a majority of Arkansas employers will pay for workers' compensation insurance, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today.
The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), an insurance-rating and data-collection bureau that specializes in workers' compensation, recommended reductions of 15.4 percent for the voluntary market and 14.9 for the assigned-risk pool. Earlier today, Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr adopted NCCI’s recommendation.
“Arkansas companies already pay the lowest premium for workers' compensation insurance of any state in the country,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This cut in costs leaves more money in employers’ pockets, which means it is now less expensive to do business in Arkansas. This is more good news for our state’s economy.
"But the best news about this decrease is that Arkansas’s workplaces are safer than ever. The number of accidents at work has declined dramatically, and there were fewer work-related fatalities in 2017 than in at least the past 20 years."
Governor Hutchinson was joined at today's announcement by Dale Douthit, Chairman of the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission, and Rajesh Chokhani, CEO of Welspun in Little Rock.
"The staff of the Workers’ Compensation Commission and the Health and Safety Division have done a remarkable job to help reduce the number of workplace injuries, to create a safer workforce and to save money in the overall cost of workers’ comp," Chairman Douthit said. "But the governor’s done a lot of the heavy lifting for this historic 15.4 percent reduction. Under his leadership, our economy has soared. We've witnessed record low unemployment and more people working in Arkansas than ever before. So many things worked together to produce this savings, and I'm proud of the outcome."
A reduction in the cost of insurance and improved safety in the workplace are significant incentives for business leaders who are considering expanding in Arkansas or moving here.
"People are an invaluable asset," Mr. Chokhani said at today's announcement. "We don’t consider that we support a thousand employees. We consider that we support a thousand families. We know what it means for a family to see their family member come home safely from work. This reduction will give us more dollars to invest in safety. The governor has done so many right things in his tenure, and this news sends a message that safety is a priority in Arkansas and will attract more talent to our state."
This is the eighth consecutive year that the costs have decreased, and it is the largest reduction in 20 years. Coupled with the 8.3 percent decrease in 2017, Arkansas’s rates have fallen nearly 25 percent in two years.
Word of the premium reduction comes just days after the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced the growth of personal income in Arkansas had increased by 3.2 percent, which put the state’s rate of growth at No. 16 nationally.
"This news from the BEA and the cost reduction for workers' comp are more evidence that we have an economic wind at our back," Governor Hutchinson said. "Life in Arkansas is improving at a dramatic pace, and all signs point to continued success."
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