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Which states have the highest, lowest work comp rates in the nation?

For the last 30 years, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has been releasing a biennial report comparing and contrasting the workers' compensation rates of each state with the national median rate, which currently stands at $1.84 per $100 of payroll.

The most recent edition of this much-anticipated report was released just a few weeks ago with the usual suspects filling the same slots and, of course, some surprises.

How is the study structured?

The researchers utilize a constant set of risk classifications in order to put each state's work comp rates on comparable terms. Once this is accomplished, they can then be ranked in their relation to the current national median rate ($1.84 per $100 of payroll in 2016).

Which states had the highest work comp rates?

California came in with the highest work comp rates at $3.24, a full 188 percent above the national median. The researchers attributed this reality to higher advisory loss cost rates, meaning essentially higher base insurance rates for every job description based on such factors as local geography, etc.

Following California were New Jersey ($2.92), New York ($2.83), Connecticut ($2.74) and Alaska ($2.74), respectively.

Which states had the lowest work comp rates?

North Dakota had the lowest work comp rates at 89 cents, only 48 percent of the national median. The researchers theorize that this reality could perhaps be attributed to the state's monopolistic work comp structure.

Following North Dakota were Indiana ($1.05), Arkansas ($1.06), West Virginia ($1.22) and Virginia ($1.24), respectively.

Where did Colorado rank?

Colorado came in at number 35 with $1.56 per $100, putting our state among the ranks of those with lower work comp costs.

It will be interesting to see if these rankings finally start to shift in 2018 …

Whether you've been seriously injured on the job and want to learn more about your ability to secure work comp benefits, or an insurer has denied your claim for these benefits, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional to learn more about your options.   

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