AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine businesses could save as much as $27 million this year thanks to a projected decline in workers’ compensation insurance claims.

Maine Superintendent of Insurance Eric Cioppa said Tuesday he approved a 12 percent average decrease in expected workers’ compensation loss costs in Maine.

Cioppa said the decrease should result in lower workers’ compensation premiums on average across all industry groups.

The superintendent said there will only be a decrease in costs if individual insurers accept the proposed change.

Maine’s largest workers’ compensation insurance company The MEMIC Group said it will adopt the rate recommendation. Company CEO Michael P. Bourque said it amounts to the largest rate reduction in more than 20 years.

He cited safer workplaces and prompt return-to-work policies as factors in reduced rates.