June 15, 2018

Montana State Fund Board Approves 8% Rate Reduction

Helena, MT – The Board of Directors of Montana State Fund (MSF), Montana’s largest workers’ compensation insurance carrier, has approved an 8% reduction in premium rate level. The rate reduction is an overall average and the specific classification codes will vary based on each industry’s loss experience. The rate filing must still be reviewed and approved by Montana’s Insurance Commissioner to ensure it is not excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory.

This marks the twelfth consecutive year MSF rates have remained flat or decreased. The average overall 8% rate decrease will apply to any policy with an effective dates from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019. MSF currently insures approximately 25,000 Montana businesses and other organizations.

The last rate increase was in 2006. Since that year, rates have remained flat or decreased every year and have now been reduced by a total of 52 percentage points—good news for Montana’s business community and their employees. This is due in part to bipartisan legislative reforms enacted by the 2011 legislature, as well as an increased focus on workplace safety by Montana employers and employees.

“A rate decrease is good news for Montana businesses who expect and need stable, predictable expenses,” said MSF Board Chairman, Lance Zanto. “It all comes down to workplace safety and keeping injured workers at work. Fewer accidents in the workplace help keep premium levels as low as possible. Lower premium rates means more room on a policyholder’s bottom line and more flexibility for employers to operate their business.”

Historically, Montana has had higher accident rates than many other states in the country. However, Montana is experiencing a reduction in the number of claims filed, dropping from 6.6 (per 100 full time employees) in 2010 to 5.7 in FY2016 according to the Workers’ Compensation Annual Report published by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.

“As the guaranteed market, we insure a large portion of the small businesses in Montana. Most insurance companies will not offer reasonably priced coverage to many small or high risk businesses in our state—we do. This rate decrease is especially good news for those small businesses that make up the backbone of Montana’s economy,” said Hubbard.

Source: MT State Fund

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