Workers’ comp premiums to rise

Colorado employers can expect workers’ compensation premiums to rise for a second consecutive year to cover rising medical costs to treat injured employees.

The Colorado Division of Insurance announced that the so-called loss costs component of workers’ comp premiums will rise 3.7 percent in 2012. That hike follows a 3.4 percent increase for 2011.

Loss costs are the average cost of lost wages and medical payments for workers injured during the course of their employment. Several factors affect loss costs, among them the number and length of claims, the severity of injuries and the cost of medical treatments. The National Council on Compensation Insurance calculates loss costs.

“While the number of claims has remained relatively flat over the last year, medical costs continue to increase,” said Jim Riesberg, state commissioner of insurance. “Our analysis indicates a slight increase is required to ensure workers’ compensation premiums remain adequate.”