Commissioner Approves 10.3% Benchmark Rate Cut

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

THANKS TO the reforms enacted in 2014, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has ordered a 10.3% average mid-year decrease to the state’s benchmark workers’ comp rates. The new benchmark rate, which insurers use as a guidepost to price their policies, will take effect on July 1. The benchmark is essentially the base rates that cover expected costs of claims and claims-adjusting expenses across all worker class codes. Insurers can price their policies as they wish, so there is no guarantee that any particular employers will see rate cuts. When pricing your policy, your insurer will take into account your claims…
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California High Court Upends Independent Contractor Test

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The California Supreme Court has handed down a decision that rewrites the state’s independent contractor law by adopting a more stringent test for determining whether or not someone is an employee for wage order cases. The new test is similar to Massachusetts independent contractor law, which is considered the strictest in the country. The new law will affect any California business that uses independent contractors and it makes it more difficult to classify someone as an independent contractor. In its decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. vs. Superior Court, the court rejected a test that’s been used for more than…
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Unique Approach to Real Estate Marries Strong Returns and Modern Design

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Harris Bay is a private equity real estate firm, which was launched in 2014 and has quickly rolled out investments to 14 states and opened offices in California and Texas. It’s a unique operation where the owners use their years of experience to apply their methodical and analytical approach of investing that they blend with a goal of creating world-class design and function. Because of their unique take on real estate investing, CoreMark Insurance Services has decided to make Harris Bay our Client of the Month. We sat down with Harris Bay’s managing director, Jake Harris, to discuss the company…
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How to Protect Your Home from Wildfires

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Forest fires consume some 8 million acres in the U.S. each year, according to insurance industry sources, with most major fires occurring in western states. The most recent example of the devastation that such fires can cause is of course the wildfires that swept through the Napa Valley in California in October.  If your home is in an at-risk area, take these steps to increase the chances of it surviving a wildfire with minimal damage. Prepare ‘defensible space’ “Defensible space” is essentially the last-ditch firebreak immediately around your home. Many fire prevention concepts are organized around the concept of maximizing…
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How to File a Fire Insurance Claim: 15 Vital Tips

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Every late summer and early fall wildfires rage in many parts of the West and Southwest, as the fires running almost the length of California this year show. Thousands of homes have burned to the ground and thousands of people have been displaced. During this time of crisis, when you’ve lost what is for most people their largest investment, you’ll need to make sure that you get your claim paid fast so you can rebuild your life. Do’s and Don’ts When Filing a Claim If your home or property has been affected by wildfires, you’re likely planning to file an…
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Rating Bureau Recommends Rate Increase, Albeit Slight

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The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California will ask for a benchmark rate increase of 0.1% for policies incepting on or after Jan. 1, 2018. But, in light of the insurance commissioner approving a 7.8% decrease for July 1 of this year, the benchmark rate for 2018 policies will still be nearly 8% less than it was at the start of 2017. The change would affect the benchmark rate – also known as the pure premium rate – which is a guidepost that insurers use to price their policies. That said, insurers are free to price their policies as…
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Earthquake Risk Requires Smart Planning and Insurance

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Life in most of parts of California comes with the inherent risk that an earthquake can strike suddenly and without warning. You probably didn’t know that the state has more than 10,000 seismic events every year, but fortunately most of them are too small for people to even notice. Although the entire Northwest of the United States is at high risk of earthquakes, nine of the most costly quakes in the last century occurred in California. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there is a 70% probability that an earthquake of magnitude 6.7 or larger will strike the San Francisco Bay…
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New Notice Requirement for Victims of Violence

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

On July 1, a new notice requirement went into effect for California workplaces concerning the rights of victims of violence or stalking. Under the new rule, employers with 25 or more workers must provide new employees with written notice about the legal rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to take time off for medical treatment and legal proceedings. The notice spells out their rights under existing California law that they are entitled to take protected time off from work to do this, meaning you cannot take action against those employees for exercising their rights under the…
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Cerrina Jensen Named One of EBA’s 2017 Most Influential Women in Benefits Advising

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Each year, Employee Benefits Adviser names an exclusive group of women from around the country to its annual list of Most Influential Women in Benefits Advising. Cerrina Jensen, a member of the Leading Producers Round Table since 2012, is on this year’s list of 30 women from around the country. This prestigious award recognizes female industry leaders for a variety of achievements, including the know-how to find substantial savings for employer clients and strengthen an organization’s bottom line, such as Cerrina Jensen does in her benefits practice with CoreMark Insurance Services. Cerrina joined CoreMark in 2012, bringing with her a…
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Insurance Commissioner Okays Benchmark Rate Decrease for California Employers

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California’s insurance commissioner has approved a recommendation to reduce average baseline rates on workers’ compensation policies by 7.8% at the mid-year mark. The mid-year reduction to the baseline rate is largely the result of reforms that were introduced in 2013 that have sped up the settlement process for claims (including many long-term claims), in addition to reducing medical costs. Also, because of these reforms the cost of adjusting workers’ comp claims in California has dropped over the past few years. Insurance carriers use the benchmark rate – also known as the pure premium rate – as a starting point for…
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