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Byline: Melissa Davis
Sep. 9--Late last month, when state leaders celebrated the reduction of a key component in workers' compensation insurance rates, Kevin Moore marveled in disbelief.
Then he picked up the telephone and called his insurance carrier. He wanted to know when his own workers' compensation rates -- which had just spiked 22 percent -- would be going down.
"I was told, 'There will be no rate decrease,'" said Moore, owner of a professional employer organization called Corporate Assistant & Resource Experts in Oklahoma City.
Even worse, he learned, workers' compensation rates might increase, despite a 12.7 percent cut -- the largest in 17 years -- to "loss-cost" rates, the portion of insurance premiums directly related to workplace injuries.
Larry Johnson, owner/vice president of an independent insurance agency in Oklahoma City, agreed that things might only get worse.
"This is not going to have a positive impact on the cost of workers' compensation insurance," Johnson said of last week's vote to slice loss-cost rates in Oklahoma. "Insurance companies are going to use the tools available to them to make sure they get adequate prices.
"The reality of the situation is that, over the last two years, almost all (workers' …