Workers’ Comp COVID-19 Payroll Reporting Rules Sunsetting

| posted in Newsletter

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has announced that two temporary payroll reporting rules to reflect changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders will sunset. The move comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s June 9 executive order which revoked the statewide stay-at-home order that had been in place since March 19, 2020. You may recall that after the stay-at-home order took effect, the Rating Bureau issued new rules for classifying staff who were suddenly working remotely, as well as payroll reporting for staff who were at home but not working. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) rules that are set…
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Workers’ Comp COVID-19 Payroll Reporting Rules Sunsetting

| posted in Blog

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has announced that two temporary payroll reporting rules to reflect changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders will sunset. The move comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s June 9 executive order which revoked the statewide stay-at-home order that had been in place since March 19, 2020. You may recall that after the stay-at-home order took effect, the Rating Bureau issued new rules for classifying staff who were suddenly working remotely, as well as payroll reporting for staff who were at home but not working. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) rules that are set…
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California’s COVID-19 Tracking Requirement Challenges Employers

| posted in Blog

SB 1159, signed into law in September, requires that when a California employer “knows or reasonably should know” that an employee has tested positive for coronavirus, it must report that positive case to its workers’ compensation carrier within three business days along with other COVID-19 tracking requirements. There is a lot of ground to cover in these reports and the legislation was passed without much publicity, so many employers may not even know about their obligations. And that could cost them: the fine for non-compliance is $10,000 per incident. The law goes further than merely reporting a positive case: The…
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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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Raft of Bills Would Add New Coronavirus Measures

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The California Legislature is working on a number of new measures to protect workers in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures take aim at “holes” in the system that may leave employees who contract the coronavirus on the job without workers’ compensation benefits, footing higher utility bills because of working at home and needing sick leave time available to them should they contract the disease. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would work closely with legislators to help the measures become law. Below we look at the legislative moves that have gained the most traction and are supported by…
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COVID-19 Emergency Workers’ Compensation Rating Changes on Tap

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Emergency rules are being developed to guide workers’ compensation classification and claims for coronavirus-affected employers and their workers in California. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau is pursuing the temporary rules to ensure fairness for employers so that their workers’ comp rates and experience modifiers (X-Mods) are not adversely affected by COVID-19-related issues. The Rating Bureau’s Classification and Rating Committee, whose members include the top actuaries for a number of workers’ comp insurers in the state, will meet April 14 to discuss three important changes to the state rating plan, according to David Bellusci, senior vice president, chief operating officer,…
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Car Crashes a Leading Cause of High-Severity Claims, Safe Driving Rules Can Help

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Traffic accidents continue to be one of the leading causes of high-severity workers’ comp claims, according to research. The National Council on Compensation Insurance found in a study that the cost of workers’ comp claims for accidents involving motor vehicles was 250% more than the average for all workplace accidents. The study also found large differences between the cost of claims involving large trucks and passenger cars, as well as a reduction in the number of accidents during economic recessions. Besides a threat to other drivers on the road, any injuries your employees suffer while on driving for you on…
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New Dual-Wage Threshold Workers’ Comp Changes Ahead

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California will recommend dual-wage threshold changes to several construction classifications for the 2020 workers’ compensation policy year. The Bureau made the recommendations to the Department of Insurance during its annual rate filing in June. The recommendations for changes to these dual-wage classifications would have to be approved by the state insurance commissioner. While most workers’ comp classes have one rate, in some classes the difference in claims costs between high- and lower-wage workers is so great that a dual-wage classification is needed. In those cases, the workers above the threshold rate are assigned…
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Cost Containment Biggest Workers’ Comp Concern

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Cost containment will be the chief workers’ comp insurance concern for U.S. employers over the next 12 months, according to a survey. Zywave, an insurance software company, found that among the 3,500 companies polled, 59% were “very or somewhat concerned” about cost containment this year. Despite the results, there are a number of ways that employers can control those costs, including establishing a solid safety program and helping injured employees return to work. The survey results included the following: Respondents said the most effective workers’ comp cost control method was a safety-minded culture (65%). Although 59% said that a light-duty…
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Commercial Auto Rates Face New Headwinds

| posted in Blog

More accidents attributed to smartphone use while driving, coupled with much higher costs of repairs, have led to double-digit increases in commercial auto insurance rates over the past few years. Distracted driving is just one of many factors that have converged on commercial auto insurance claims, resulting in sustained premium increases. Now there are new factors that are coming into play that will ensure that rates continue climbing, at least in the near term. Commercial auto rates are increasing for companies with large fleets as well as for businesses with just a few vehicles and drivers. Here’s what’s at play…
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