Workers' compensation insurance rates will be dropping in North Carolina next year, for the first time in five years.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Wednesday the North Carolina Rate Bureau has requested an average drop of 4.4 percent for 2009.
The Rate Bureau represents more than 150 companies that offer workers' compensation insurance policies to employers in the state.
State Insurance Department spokeswoman Kristin Milam says the agency is reviewing the filing to determine if a 4.4 percent cut is enough. The department has 60 days to review the request.
Rate Bureau general manager Ray Evans says the reduction comes after several years of increases. Evans also says the cost of claims has been lower than expected and the number of workplace accidents is down.