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…
Read More

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,…
Read More

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…
Read More

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…
Read More

Cost Containment Biggest Workers’ Comp Concern

| posted in Blog

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…
Read More

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…
Read More

Workers’ Comp Audit Mistakes: What to Look For

| posted in Blog

No company owner wants to undergo a workers’ compensation audit, but they are a fact of life if you run a business and have employees. Unfortunately, many audits don’t go smoothly and sometimes your insurer may make mistakes. Missouri-based Workers’ Compensation Consultants, which helps employers through the workers’ comp audit process, recently listed the 10 most common audit mistakes that insurance companies make. The list highlights a common problem and how you can detect the mistakes to avoid being stuck with a massive audit bill. Insurance companies allow you to review the audit with your broker. If you notice that…
Read More

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…
Read More

Preparing for a Workers’ Compensation Audit

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

  Just the mention of a workers’ compensation audit can stir up the butterflies in your stomach and add a serious dose of stress to your existence. But, if you are scheduled for an audit, there is no need to dread it. A small amount of preparation and common sense can save you a lot of aggravation and money. Timing Devoting a few hours of effort now can save you a lot of time in the future. Give your full attention to the auditor and remain with them throughout the entire process. The process may take a couple of hours…
Read More

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…
Read More