The head of an insurers' trade group said today that New YorkInsurance Superintendent Howard Mills' decision to limit a ratehike for workers' compensation insurance to 5 percent will hurt themarketplace.

Bernard Bourdeau, president of the New York InsuranceAssociation, said he believes that a 16 percent rate hike increaseoriginally recommended by the state's Compensation Insurance RatingBoard was needed. The board, an industry advisory panel, changedits recommendation to 5 percent following a public hearing lastmonth.

"Eventually insurers will decide that the rates are not adequateand will decide to stop writing," said Mr. Bourdeau, who describedthe state's workers' comp rates as artificially suppressed.

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