BOSTON (SHNS) – Massachusetts insurers want to cut the average statewide workers’ compensation insurance rates by 4 percent starting in July.

The Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts in December submitted its annual rate filing proposal to the Division of Insurance, calling for dropping average rates 4 percent for industrial classes and 9.8 percent for F-Classes. The bureau, which represents more than 300 insurance carriers, is seeking another reduction in the average statewide rate after proposing a 2.7 percent decrease last year.

In April, the attorney general office announced an agreement between that office, WCRIBMA and the State Rating Bureau to roll back rates an average of 3.5 percent starting July 1, 2022. In a 1,069-page filing package, WCRIBMA said it used two years of underlying data behind its proposal, giving 75 percent weight to policy year 2018 and 25 percent weight to policy year 2019 to minimize upheaval from COVID-19 unemployment spikes.

“It would be inconsistent with the prospective nature of rate making for the WCRIBMA to give equal weight to data so heavily distorted by COVID-19-related anomalies to set adequate and reasonable rates for the policy year beginning in July 2023,” the group wrote. “While the WCRIBMA understands the effects of COVID-19 will continue to be felt in the coming years, the current lower unemployment rates, the renewed availability of medical and other services, vaccines, therapeutics and the waning availability of federal payroll relief, all point to more stable conditions than those experienced in 2020.”

A public hearing on the rate proposal was held on Feb. 3.