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Pay workers' comp insurance? Your costs might soon drop

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Rates for workers' compensation insurance across Pennsylvania will drop an average of 6.21 percent come April 1, state officials announced Thursday.

Although not every business will see a decrease, the cut is expected to save employers a collective $150 million in the coming year, according to a news release from state officials. Benefit levels for injured workers will remain the same despite the decreased costs.

Workers' comp insurance covers a range of expenses incurred when an employee suffers an injury on the job, including medical costs, lost wages and death benefits. Businesses' premiums are based on annual loss cost filings with the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau, and must be approved by the state's insurance department.

Employers' individual premiums vary based on a range of risk factors. Many companies can receive discounts by adopting workplace safety committees, Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino said Thursday during an event at Global Advanced Metals in Berks County.

This week's announcement marks the sixth reduction the state has made to workers' compensation insurance rates in as many years. The decreases are made possible by increased competition among insurance providers and an increased emphasis on workplace safety among the commonwealth's employers, according to state officials.

Workers' comp insurance cost Pennsylvania businesses a median $1.84 per $100 of payroll as of the start of 2016, according to a study released in December. That rate makes Pennsylvania the 26th-most expensive state for workers' comp insurance, an improvement over its 17th-place ranking in 2014.

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Jennifer Wentz

Jennifer Wentz

Jennifer Wentz covers Lancaster County, York County, financial services, taxation and legal services. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at jwentz@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @jenni_wentz.

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