THE WORKERS’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has amended its 2021 rate filing to make its earlier recommended COVID-19 surcharge more equitable.

The Rating Bureau is leaving unchanged its overall recommendation that benchmark rates be increased an average of 2.6% for policies incepting on or after Jan. 1, 2021.

But it modified a previous recommendation that a COVID-19 surcharge of $.06 per $100 of payroll be applied to all policies, in favor of a six-tiered surcharge (see right).

The tiers range from 1 cent per $100 of payroll for the least-risky sectors to a high of 24 cents for the riskiest.

All sectors will be placed in one of the six tiers depending on their relative share of COVID-19 claims that had been filed through the end of August.

The Insurance Department wrapped up hearings on the rate filing in early October and will announce in November whether it approves the filing or is making changes.

The benchmark rates (or pure premium rates) are published as guideposts for insurers to price their policies. Insurers are not required to follow them, although most do to some degree.

While the Bureau earlier said it would not apply COVID-19 claims towards employers’ experience modifiers (X-Mods), the surcharge will apply to all employers – even those who have not seen any coronavirus-related illness claims.


1 cent
• Management of Companies and Enterprises (55)
• Information Technology (51)
• Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (54)

3 cents
• Outside Sales (8742)
• Finance and Insurance (52)
• Clerical (8810)
• Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction (21)
• Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (71)
• Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (53)

6 cents
• Admininistrative Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (56)
• Wholesale Trade (42)
• Construction (23)
• Educational Services (61)
• Manufacturing (31)
• Other Services (except Public Administration) (81)

12 cents
• Public Administration (92)
• Retail Trade (44)
• Transportation and Warehousing (48)

18 cents
• Accommodation and Food Services (72)
• Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting (11)

24 cents
• Health Care and Social Assistance (62)

* The two digits are the first two numbers of four-digit NAIC class codes, and all class codes that start with those two digits will see the surcharge applied, unless otherwise noted with a four-digit code.

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