The Maine Bureau of Insurance has approved a 4.3 percent decrease in the workers’ compensation insurance “loss cost” rate, which is expected to save Maine employers a combined $9.5 million over the next 12 months, the bureau said Friday.

Bureau Superintendent Eric Cioppa said in a news release that the bureau approved a loss cost rate decrease proposed by National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. based on a reduction in worker claims over the past year.

The new loss cost rate will take effect immediately.

Loss costs are a major factor in insurers’ rate calculations, but they are not the only factor. Maine currently has a competitive market for workers’ compensation insurance in which each insurer sets its own rates based on loss costs, other expenses and desired profit margin.

In Maine, the cost of workers’ compensation insurance claim losses has decreased by 53.6 percent since 1992, Cioppa said.

“These savings are the result of successful efforts by Maine employers and employees to improve safety in the workplace, return injured workers to employment as soon as possible, and control medical costs,” he said.