Connecticut second-worst on workers’ comp costs

    Connecticut employers pay the second-highest rates for workers’ compensation insurance, according to a new study, with costs 60 percent higher than states ranked in the middle.

    The Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services has published the study for more than two decades. The agency began the calculations when Oregon had some of the highest rates nationwide, but it is now among the cheapest states after years of reforms and other improvements.

    Connecticut’s high costs also affect taxpayers. The state spends more than $100 million a year on claims filed by employees. If, for example, workers’ compensation costs fell to match states in the middle of the ranking, savings could reach $40 million a year.

    Since workers’ compensation rates vary significantly by occupation, the study uses an index of workers’ compensation costs to compare the cost of hiring a similar group of employees in each state.

    The Connecticut index cost is $2.99 per $100 in payroll. Alaska, the most expensive state, is a penny higher.

    California, Illinois and New York follow Connecticut on the list. California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed legislation aimed at reducing workers’ compensation costs.

    New Mexico and Georgia, the states that fall in the middle of the ranking, have index costs of $1.88 per $100.

    North Dakota, the least expensive state, has an index cost of $1.01 per $100.