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

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

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

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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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Construction Dual Wage Threshold Changes

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For some construction classes, the Rating Bureau sets wage thresholds for which different rates apply due to significant differences claims and claims costs rates for workers who earn less and more than the threshold. Typically higher wage workers in these classes have fewer claims and less costly claims compared to their counterparts who are paid less than the threshold. The Rating Bureau updates the threshold when it notes changes in these costs. • Code 5190/5140 (Electrical wiring –within buildings): Threshold increases to $32 per hour from $30 per hour. • Code 5201(1)/5205(1) (Concrete or Cement Work – pouring or finishing…
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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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Insurtech: How Mobile Apps Can Save You on Premiums

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Traditionally, insurance has relied on information asymmetry: The insurance carrier has had the advantage of access to reams of actuarial data which it uses to price policies, while the customer has had the advantage of more intimate knowledge of his or her own particular situation. But new developments in mobile technology, blockchain development and risk management are changing the equation. Innovative insurance technology – or insurtech – companies are developing apps for mobile phones, tablets and desktops that are putting more information into the hands of the customer, and providing them tools to help them lower the premiums they pay…
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Toilet Failure Is a Leading Cause of Residential and Commercial Water Damage

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Leaky plumbing fixtures and burst pipes are common reasons behind insurance claims for home and commercial water damage every year, but toilet problems stand out as one of the leading causes of serious water damage. That said, many toilet-related plumbing issues are preventable with regular maintenance and a watchful eye, which can take care of small problems before they turn into major ones. If a toilet is causing problems, call a professional immediately. The worst damages arise because a person does not call an expert, and water damage that may not be visible on the surface continues to spread and…
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Commercial Auto Rates Continue Climbing

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By now, you’ve likely noticed that your commercial automotive insurance rates have been increasing since last year, and for now there seems to be no slowing the momentum. The increase is probably noticeable since the period between 2011 and 2016 saw rates drop thanks to a number of factors, including fewer accidents, fewer cars on the road and more competition among insurance companies vying for your business. In this article we look at what’s behind the increase in rates. More drivers More people are driving than since the recession that started in 2008. When millions of Americans lost their jobs…
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Pay Attention to Policy Milestones to Reduce Workers’ Comp Costs

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Once they’ve paid their annual premium, many employers pay scant attention to their workers’ comp policy until the renewal date starts closing in. Unfortunately, that’s not the best time to attempt to control costs. Because workers’ comp is one of the most loss-sensitive insurance policies, and as claims can sometimes be paid out for decades, it’s incumbent on you to proactively manage claims. One way to do that is through a quarterly claims review process, the timing of which is in line with the calculation of your company’s Experience Modification Factor (X-Mod), which is the one factor you can control…
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