Trucking’s WCB rates to increase in B.C.

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) base rate for general trucking in B.C. is projected to increase in 2005, the agency has announced.

While the Moving and Storage and General Trucking categories saw a decline in their injury rate of 1.3 per cent last year, most other claims rate factors increased. For instance long term disability was up 20.9 per cent, health care costs increased 54.1 per cent, rehabilitation was up 51.4 per cent and short term disability costs spiked 20.9 per cent. As a result, the WCB says the base rate for 2005 for these categories will increase to $6.40 from the 2004 rate of $6.09.

In total, about 56 per cent of the classification units are expected to see a decrease in their rates while 43 per cent will probably see an increase. Only one per cent should see no change to their premiums.

There are some changes in policy that are expected to put upward pressure on WCB rates in B.C. between 2005 and 2009. For instance, the board has been asked to develop a $400 million contingency fund to counter investment market volatility. The WCB is also increasing its target for funding for future liability from 95 per cent to 105 per cent.

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