Insurers Expected COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Surge; It Never Came

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The number of COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims submit to carriers has not been as widespread as insurers and ratings agencies around the country had predicted when the pandemic first started in early 2020. On top of that, a large chunk of COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims filed by workers nationwide have been rejected, with insurers often citing lack of proof that the illness was contracted in the workplace. These two factors have lead to a much lower surge of claim payouts than expected. The insurance industry was bracing for a deluge of workers’ comp claims when the seriousness of the pandemic…
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How Will COVID-19 Change Health Insurance

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

With talks of a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, many are asking about the long term effects of the pandemic, like how will COVID-19 change health insurance. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses and other organizations in multiple ways. Lost revenue and the overnight change to remote workforces, among other things, have caused significant changes to operations and finances. A new report shows that there will be long-term effects on employee benefit programs as well. Health insurers are forecasting continued cost increases that dwarf general inflation rates, according to the report by Mercer Marsh Benefits. Most expect 2021 medical cost inflation…
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COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Claims Grow, While Overall Claims Plummet

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

While the number of COVID-19 workers’ comp cases filed in California continues to grow, total workplace injury and illness claims in the state have fallen nearly 20% so far in 2020 compared to 2019. Through September, the state had recorded 47,412 COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims, accounting for 11.1% of all claims reported since the start of the year. During that same period, California workers filed 425,280 workers’ compensation claims, down 19% from the first nine months of 2019. COVID-19 case numbers The first COVID-19 cases among California workers were filed in March. They peaked in July and started to decline…
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New Law Changes When Injuries Must Be Reported

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a measure into law that has implications for when employers are required to report serious workplace injuries to Cal/OSHA. The new law, AB 1805, broadens the scope of what will be classified as a serious illness, injury or exposure and is expected to increase the number of workplace incidents that will have to be reported, starting in 2020. California has long required that employers “immediately” report to Cal/OSHA a work-related death or serious injury or illness, and that doesn’t change under the new law. The definition of “serious injury or illness” has for decades been…
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New Rule Simplifies X-Mod Calculation, Encourages Reporting First Aid Claims

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

A new method for calculating workers’ compensation experience modifications (X-Mods) took effect in California on Jan. 1, 2019. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California has created a new simplified formula for calculating X-Mods as part of its efforts to add more transparency to the process. The new formula excludes the first $250 of every claim for the X-Mod computation, no matter how large or small the claim is. This also means that if an employer pays, say, $200 for first aid on a minor workplace injury, they are required to report it as a claim. Doing so will…
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Five Types of Claims That Spike in the Fall

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As the weather starts cooling down and the seasons change, new perils arise for everyone, particularly the risk of some types of auto accidents as well as potential homeowner’s insurance claims. Fall is actually the time of year where the claims for a number of incidents increase compared to the rest of the year. With fall now here, pay attention to the following heightened risks. Rear-end collisions With the colder weather comes more rain and potentially icy conditions in some parts of the country. Auto insurers report an uptick in rear-end collisions in the last three months of the year…
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Rating Agency Calls for 7.2% Workers’ Comp Rate Cut

| posted in Blog

Thanks to reforms enacted in 2014, California’s workers’ comp rating agency is recommending that the average benchmark rate be cut by 7.2% for policies effective July 1 and onward. The filing made by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau is for the state’s pure premium rates, which are essentially the base rates to cover expected costs of claims and claims-adjusting expenses across all worker class codes. The rates are advisory only and insurers can price their policies as they wish, so there are no guarantees that any particular employer will see a rate decrease when their policy renews. The rate…
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Keep Injured Workers in the Loop to Reduce Claims Costs

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One perennial topic in workplace safety is how to get injured workers back on the job as quickly as possible, and when it is safe to do so. The key, experts say, is to help the injured employee better engage in the workers’ comp system, so they have a better understanding of the claims process and what they can expect from it. Employers that have the best success actually advocate for the injured worker, instead of just giving them the standard booklets on what to expect and then leave them until they are healed up enough to go back to…
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Workers Who File Claims More Likely to File Subsequent Ones

| posted in Blog

A new study has found that people who have had workers’ comp claims in the past are more likely to file future claims compared to those who have never suffered an on-the-job injury. The study – the subject of an article published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine – concluded that a past claim is the most predictive factor in determining the likelihood of future workers’ comp claims. While the findings shed light on a significant driver of workplace injuries, employers are in a difficult position as asking prospective employees about past claims experience is illegal in most…
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Documenting Small Safety Incidents Key to Preventing Major Ones

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Studies show that for every major workplace injury or fatality, there are nearly 10 minor injuries – and more than 30 accidents that lead to property damage. Capturing data even on minor incidents that may seem trivial in isolation can be critical in informing efforts to prevent much greater dangers in the future. A big part of that effort involves ensuring businesses maintain a complete set of data. Managers at all levels should focus on solid and thorough documentation. Here is where management’s main effort should be concentrated: Don’t ignore minor incidents. Document all of them. Even if you have…
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