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DELAWARE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER ISSUES ANNOUNCEMENT

 DELAWARE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER ISSUES ANNOUNCEMENT
 DOVER, Del., Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Delaware Insurance Commissioner


David N. Levinson announced today that the Delaware Superior Court has dismissed the appeal of the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau (DCRB) from his order requiring a refund of asbestos abatement surcharges.
 The commissioner's July 1, 1991, order found that the rates collected by members of the DCRB were excessive, and ordered a refund to the employers who had paid the excessive rates. The Superior Court dismissed the DCRB's appeal, which has the effect of requiring the DCRB to comply with the commissioner's order to submit information so that he can determine what were appropriate rates for employers in the asbestos abatement business. The rates, once established, will be used to determine the amount of the refund payable to the employers.
 The excessive charges to Delaware-based asbestos removal contractors had two effects on Delaware. First, it made Delaware asbestos removal contractors less competitive, and therefore reduced employment in Delaware. Second, the excessive rates drove up the costs of, and therefore deferred, some asbestos removal. The excessive rates were in effect during the latter part of the 1980s. The DCRB is a rating bureau and establishes the rates used by all insurers who write workers' compensation insurance in Delaware.
 Levinson stated: "I am extremely pleased with the court's ruling. The rates filed by the DCRB and used by workers' compensation insurers in Delaware were harmful to the public interest in two ways. Delaware asbestos removal contractors were at a competitive disadvantage when competing for asbestos removal business with out-of-state contractors. In addition, fewer businesses and individuals could afford to hire contractors to remove harmful asbestos from their premises because of the higher rates which the Delaware contractors had to charge. The evidence presented at the hearing on this issue demonstrated that the rates were excessive. The insurers which collected these high rates have been required to place in an escrow account all of the surcharges they collected from asbestos contractors. It is my hope that we will soon be able to refund to the affected contractors the excess rates which they were forced to pay."
 -0- 12/6/91
 /CONTACT: David N. Levinson, commissioner, or Peter O. Jamison III, both of the Department of Insurance, 302-739-4251/ CO: Department of Insurance ST: Delaware IN: INS SU:


JS-MK -- PH028 -- 0201 12/06/91 15:21 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 6, 1991
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