Rating Agency Recommends Another Workers’ Comp Rate Decrease

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

There could be yet another workers’ comp rate reduction coming down the pike, after California’s rating agency filed a recommendation that benchmark rates for policies that take effect on or after Jan. 1, 2019 be reduced by 14.5% from Jan. 1, 2018 levels. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau’s recommendation that the average benchmark rate be cut comes on the heels of an order by Insurance Commissioner David Jones to reduce these “pure premium rates” by 10.3% as of July 1, compared with Jan. 1 rates. The advisory pure premium rates proposed to be effective Jan. 1, 2019 average $1.70…
Read More

Construction Dual Wage Threshold Changes

| posted in Blog

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…
Read More

Rating Bureau Recommends Rate Increase, Albeit Slight

| posted in Blog

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…
Read More

Employers Protest Proposed First Aid Claims Rules

| posted in Blog

California employers are protesting a part of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau’s 2017 rate filing dealing with first aid claims, asking the insurance commissioner to delay adoption. Businesses say the proposed reporting provisions are unclear and inappropriate in light of impending changes that will exempt the first $250 of every claim from the experience rating calculation. Many employers simply do not report first aid claims in order to keep their experience modifier down, even though the Rating Bureau requires them to do so. Beginning in 2017, frequency will become a major part of the formula for calculating X-Mods. Under…
Read More

The Effects on Your X-Mod When Purchasing Another Company

| posted in Blog

Many companies are often taken off guard when their workers’ comp X-Mod shoots up after a merger or acquisition. The experience modifier spike is usually the result of the other employer having a less than stellar workplace safety record and high workers’ comp claims costs. But there are pre-emptive steps you can take to understand the impact of the merger on your X-Mod and the more you know, the better chance you’ll have at coping with the changed circumstances. The reason is that workers’ compensation rating bureaus have strict rules regarding mergers and acquisitions to ensure that companies don’t engage…
Read More

New X-Mod System Reduces Effect of One Large Claim

| posted in Blog

One of the biggest complaints in workers’ comp – that one large claim can skew an employer’s X-Mod – is about to finally be addressed in California. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau’s “split-point” experience rating system, in which an employer’s actual workers’ comp losses are divided into actual primary losses and actual excess losses, will be overhauled for 2017. The Bureau will do so by replacing the current static $7,000 split point for all industries and employer sizes with a variable split-point system. This change is expected to limit the impact of one large claim on an employer’s (particularly…
Read More

Agency Mulls Not Counting Portion of First Aid Claims in X-Mods

| posted in Blog

California’s workers’ compensation rating agency is developing new guidelines that would exempt a portion of first aid claims from being included in the calculation of employers’ X-Mods. Under state regulations, employers are required to report injuries that require first aid and are not severe enough for the employee to seek medical treatment or miss work. But despite the rules, few employers report the claims to their insurance companies. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau hopes that creating an exemption in the experience rating plan for first aid claims and injuries would increase reporting. According to the trade press, the Rating…
Read More

Agency Recommends Further Rate Cuts for California Employers

| posted in Blog

The reforms that were ushered in by the state Legislature in 2012 seem to be paying off, with the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California recommending that benchmark rates be cut by an average of 5% in July. The Rating Bureau has forwarded its recommendation for a mid-year rate cut to the California Department of Insurance, and the insurance commissioner will hold a hearing on the filing likely in May. The filing was made in reaction to lower-than-expected medical cost development, as well as the cost of indemnity benefits per claim. The Rating Bureau is recommending that the average…
Read More

Bureau Recommends 12.2% Rate Cut for 2016

| posted in Blog

California’s workers’ compensation statistical agency will recommend that benchmark rates be reduced by an average of 12.2% for policies incepting at the start of next year. The rate filing is actually for a 0.8% reduction, but that comes after benchmark rates were cut 10.2% on July 1, so that’s why the average rate reduction for January policies is higher. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau will file the recommendation with the state insurance commissioner, who has the final word on rates in California. He can either choose to approve or reject the rate, and if he does the latter he…
Read More