Nevada Workers Compensation Rates 2019

In 2019 Nevada Workers Compensation Rates will be Some of the Lowest in the Country

Effective the first of March, 2019; Nevada Workers Compensation Rates will be 8.1% lower than the previous year. This is great news because rates on coverage were already the 46th most expensive state for purchasing coverage according to the  Oregon Premium Rate Ranking Study. A workers compensation ranking study done every other year by the state of Oregon. This study found the cost for coverage in Nevada is 71% of the national median. Now not all businesses will see the same amount of savings. Depending upon the industry classification code and the experience modification rating of the business, the savings may be smaller or larger than the recommended premium rate.

Nevada Desert Highway

Why are rates so low in New Mexico?

There are numerous reasons why there will be a decline on workers comp rates in Nevada for the year of 2019. According to the Nevada Division of Insurance, “claim frequency continues to decline countrywide due to improvements in automation and workplace safety”. Because of the decline in claims frequency insurance carriers are forced to pay out less in insurance claims. As a result of these declines, insurance carriers are able to pass some of the savings on to customers. This is great news for the business environment in Nevada. A state that already experienced some of the lowest rates for workers compensation insurance.

Las Vegas, Nevada

What is Unique about the Workers Comp System in Nevada?

The first thing that is not so unique about the workers compensation system in the state of Nevada is that all businesses must purchase coverage and Nevada operates under what is referred to as a no-fault system. A no fault system protects employees by providing medical and disability benefits along with some lost wages. The system also protects employers by limiting liability in the event of a workplace injury. All of these benefits are provided no matter who is at fault for the injury to an employee.

In the past Nevada was a monopolistic state. What it means to be a monopolistic state is that the employer must obtain coverage from a compulsory state fund or qualify as a self-insurer. This means all businesses that operate within the state must purchase coverage from one provider. There is no open market for coverage. To be self insured, the business must meet certain financial criteria to qualify. This is no longer how the Nevada Workers Compensation System is operated. Currently, Nevada is an NCCI state. NCCI stand for the National Council on Compensation Insurance and this partnership means the state pool for high risk businesses t is administered by NCCI. In most instances, states who partner with NCCI enjoy favorable rates for workers comp coverage.

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

The State of Utah Workers Compensation System in 2019

Utah Workers Compensation Rates 2019

The Utah Workers Compensation System is different from the way other states administer the ‘Exclusive Remedy’. The business community benefits from these differences in the form of some of the lowest rates for workers comp premium in the United States of America. In the state of Utah, workers compensation is a no-fault insurance system. The fact that Utah uses a no fault system means that benefits are provided to the injured employee no matter who is at fault for the worker injury. One of the most impactful aspects of the Utah Workers Compensation System is the strength of the Assigned Risk Provider. There are also a few bills passing through the Utah State Legislature that may have a positive impact on the rates businesses pay for workers compensation insurance in the future. Here are several aspects that contribute to the strong Utah Workers Compensation System.

How is the Utah Workers Compensation System Different?

Utah Insurance Department?

The Utah Insurance Department is the governing body that regulates the workers compensation system. The Insurance Department approves the premium rating plans used by workers’ compensation insurance carriers. Premium rates charged for workers’ comp in Utah are revised annually based on statistical data provided by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).

What is the Utah Labor Commission?

The Utah Labor Commission is another state regulatory agency that handles disputes within the workers compensation system. These disputes invlove an injured worker and either the insurance company or the employer. Because of the success of this commission, less than two percent of all claims wind up in litigation. The saves the system as a whole an enormous amount of money in saved legal fees. In most cases an administrative law judge is assigned to the case in order to determine what benefits an injured workers is entitled to. In some situations, there is a representative with the employer is asked to provide extensive evidence about claims.

Public Private Partnership

The Workers Compensation System in the state of Utah is a public private partnership between the state government and two outside entities. Those entities are the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) and The Workers Compensation Fund (WCF). NCCI creates classification codes and recommended pure premium rates. WCF is the state provider within the state and they commonly dominate a large percentage of the market.

Exclusions

When it comes to the system for Workers Comp Utah, all employers are required to carry coverage. There are only a few exceptions to this rule. One of those exceptions is that sole proprietors and partnerships who have no employees other than the sole proprietor or partner are not required to purchase coverage. All General Contractors are required to ensure when they hire subcontractors (including sole proprietorships, partners and corporate officers), that those subcontractors have workers comp coverage. If the subcontractors do not have workers compensation coverage the subcontractor is considered an employee of the contractor. When this occurs, the general contractor must carry work comp coverage. Most states have additional exclusions for certain circumstances. Because there are so few exclusions in the state of Utah, all businesses must purchase coverage. This additional amount of businesses who have to purchase coverage contribute to driving the price of premium down.

Why are Utah Workers Compensation Rates so Low?

Strength of the State Fund

The Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) is the strongest assigned risk provider of any state in the country. Depending upon the year, WCF controls nearly 60 percent of the market for workers comp. This dominance of the market place allows WCF to control what other carriers charge for premium. If other carriers want to compete for coverage in Utah, they must keep their premium rates at or near what WCF Charges.

House Bill 288

In 2018, House Bill 288 (HB288) passed the state legislature. HB288 makes it unlawful for employer to interfere with an employee’s ability to seek workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, it made it illegal to retaliate against employees for seeking benefits. This bill establish fines of up to $5,000 for each individual violation.

Senate Bill 75

Senate Bill 75 (SB75) was passed to allow the Division of Industrial Accidents to waive the penalty for failure to purchase workers comp.  SB75 states ‘the violation must be the employer’s first violation and the period of noncompliance must be less than 180 days’. This is intended to allow businesses one mulligan when it comes to not securing coverage.

Commercial Insurance Checklist

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Do You Know What Your Business Needs For its Next Commercial Insurance Renewal?

Commercial Insurance Checklist

Familiarize yourself with the jargon

Buying commercial insurance is something a small business owner has to do once a year. It is not something most business owners think about on a daily basis. When interacting with employees within the industry, there may be an awful lot of small business insurance jargon that is not exactly common knowledge to the general population.

Is the Address Still the Same?

The insurance agent will need an accurate and up to date address for the business. If the business has moved, it is necessary to inform the carry of the new address.

How many employees do you now have?

The insurance agent will need to have an accurate count of employees. Employee turnover is common in most industries. If you can provide your agent with the number of employees now, the average number of employees throughout the past year, and the man hours worked for each employee classification code; it will help your agent get a more accurate quote.

Have you purchased any new equipment, including vehicles?

Informing your insurance agent of new equipment purchases is important for a number of reasons. Ideally you should inform your insurance agent when you purchase the vehicle or the new piece of equipment. The value of the new vehicle will impact the premium rate for either the commercial auto or inland marine insurance policy.

Does your Business offer any new goods or services?

If your business started selling new products or offering new services, it may change the classification of your business. This is especially important if your business begins offering anything with a driving risk. From an insurance perspective driving is an activity that significantly increases the frequency and severity of insurance claims. Because of this, business that have employees who drive as part of their daily routine will pay more for commercial insurance.

Assess Your Risk

It is important to periodically assess the risks your business faces. Prior to renewing all commercial insurance policies is a good time to think about any accidents that occurred throughout the year including any near misses.

Speak Long and Honestly with Your Insurance Agent

After you have assessed the risks of your business internally, it is important to schedule an adequate amount of time to talk over an concerns you have with your insurance agent. If anything has changed, they need to know about it. If anything concerns you, your insurance agent can act as a wealth of knowledge to prevent accidents from happening and for properly protecting your business from the risks you actually face.

Make sure you have all required coverages

Workers compensation and general liability insurance are required by law for most businesses in most states. You will need to check with the state governing body within your state to see if their are any additional coverages required. If your business sells or serves alcohol, it is usually a requirement to carry liquor liability insurance.

Ask About Additional Coverages

Do not try to skimp by on only the bare minimum coverage. This is typically a recipe for disaster when a claim occurs. Most businesses need additional coverages than just GL and WC. Speaking long and honestly with your insurance agent can help you make sure your business is properly protected. Remember they are not just there to sell you an additional product, they are there to help you determine how much coverage you need and if there are any types of coverage you may be able to do without.

Shop Around

Every few years, it is a good idea to shop around your policy with multiple carriers. Partnering with an independent insurance agent is a good way to do this efficiently. An independent insurance agent can shop your policy out for you and get quotes from multiple carriers are in one stop. This should be able to get your business better coverage at a lower rate. Additionally, because an independent agent is not tied to one carrier, they can give you unbiased advice about the coverages you are considering. margins within the insurance industry are extremely tight. When one carrier offers a noticeably lower rate, there usually is a reason for it. The reason for the lower rate is rarely because the policy provides more coverage or the carrier offers better service throughout the life of the policy.

What is a Ghost Policy?

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And Who Might Benefit From a Ghost Policy?

A Ghost Insurance Policy is a type of Workers Compensation Insurance Policy where the owner of a business is excluded from coverage and they are the only employee of the business. There must be no additional employees for the business in order for a Ghost Policy to be appropriate. In most cases, this type of policy is purchased by a contractor or subcontractor to satisfy coverage requirements within a contract they are agreeing to with another contractor or business. The policy is not designed to provide workers compensation benefits except when the employer hires employees or becomes liable for an uninsured subcontractor. Not all states allow Ghost Policies, but where they are available they can be the best scenario for many small contractors and subcontractors who have no employees or subcontractors.Ghost

How Does a Ghost Policy Work?

In most cases, the term ghost policy refers to a workers comp policy purchased by a business owner, typically a sole proprietor, who is the only employee of the business. The coverage basically provides no “real insurance coverage”.  It is a minimum earned policy where the owner is excluded from coverage on the Acord 130 Form and there are no active or anticipated employees for the policy period. What a minimum earned policy means is that the policy includes the standard state expense constant and the insurance companies minimum required premium for a policy. Businesses request this type of coverage because it is normally  cheaper than a policy where the owner wages are applied to the policy.

Why Might a Business Want a Ghost Policy?

There are a number of reasons why a business would choose this instead of a traditional workers compensation policy. First and foremost, this type of policy enables a business owner to have a certificate of insurance issued. This is typically required to enter in to most contracts. A ghost policy can cost a significant amount less compared to a workers comp policy including the owner and all of their payroll. Finally, a Ghost Insurance Policy provides the business with employer liability protection, This type of coverage may be needed in the event an employee is hired or the business makes a payment to an uninsured subcontractor. It is important to remember, ghost policies are audited for additional exposure just like a traditional workers compensation policy. This occurs at the end of each policy period and if the requirements for a ghost policy are not met, the business may owe additional premium.

Louisiana Workers Compensation Rates 2019 Are Declining

5 years of Continued Declines for Louisiana Workers Compensation Rates 2019

Starting on May 1st, 2019 the Business Community will be saving 5.6 percent on average for Louisiana Workers Compensation Rates 2019. Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said, “Rates have had a cumulative drop of 19 percent over the last five years and 51 percent over the last 20 years.” This is a very good sign for the most businesses operating in the state of Louisiana. Depending upon a number of factors, some businesses will see a larger decline in workers comp rates and other businesses will receive a smaller decline. Overall, the business community throughout the state will be saving money on workers compensation insurance premium in 2019. Louisiana Workers Compensation Rates 2019

Why are Louisiana Workers Compensation Rates 2019 Declining?

The agency said workplace safety is a factor. Louisiana has one of the lowest non-fatal work-related injury rates in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Louisiana Workers Compensation Rates 2019 are declining again. There are a number of reasons for the declining rates. At the top of the list of reasons for declining rates is competition in the market place, improved workplace safety, and better risk management practices being used throughout the business community. According the the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Louisiana has one of the lowest non-fatal work-related injury rates in the United States. Speaking about the reasons for the decline in premium Donelon said “Louisiana businesses are benefiting from the competition in the workers’ compensation market. Through improved workplace safety and better risk management practices, rates have continued their downward trajectory and are more affordable for businesses statewide”.New Orleans, Louisiana

What Can Business Owners Do To Enhance Their Savings?

Partner with an independent agent

Partnering with an independent agent is usually the best way to get the most comprehensive coverage at fair rates. A traditional agent (captive agent) sells the products of one or a select few carriers. If that carrier is not hungry to quote the policy you are looking for or the industry you operate in, they may not offer a competitive rate.

Shop Around your policy

It is not a wise decision to switch carriers every year based upon a slight drop in premium. Long term relationships do mean something, especially when you have a claim or a year where your business has several claims. It is also a good idea to shop your policy around periodically to make sure your carrier is competitive with the current market place.

Focus on Safety

Safety is the most important thing any business can emphasize to make their operations more appealing to an insurance agent. This is because businesses who focus more on safety have a tendency to file less insurance claims. This positively impacts a businesses experience modification rating and can have a long-lasting impact on what your business pays for commercial insurance.

 

 

 

What is NCCI?

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NCCI is a non-profit insurance rating bureau dedicated to fostering a healthy workers compensation system for the states the organization partners with. NCCI gathers data, analyzes industry trends, provides objective insurance rates, and loss cost recommendations in an attempt to bolster the health of the systems within the states it partners with.

NCCI

NCCI currently partners with 35 states to provide pure premium ratings, 11 states have their own rating bureaus, and there are four states that are referred to as Monopolistic States. These four states; North Dakota, Ohio, Washington, and Wyoming do not represent workers compensation policies that are bought through another states system. This causes a bit of a headache for businesses that operate in more than one state and one of these states is one of them. Most workers compensation carriers have specific packages for these types of businesses, but it does add to the cost a bit when purchasing coverage. The 11 states who have their own rating bureau do so for a number of reasons. Some states, like New York and California, have economies that are so large and the economies so unique the state legislature feels the state governing body can do the task better in house. For the most part, states that partner with NCCI see favorable rates on workers compensation premium for the business community within the state.

Three Main Tasks Provided by NCCI:

  • Obtain and Provide Accurate Statistical Loss Data
  • Scopes Manual
  • Set Manual Rates for Workers Compensation Insurance

NCCI Scopes Manual

Obtain and Provide Accurate Statistical Loss Data

Data collection and statistical analysis is one of the best assets of NCCI for the states it works with. Collecting all of the claims history from each carrier operating within a state and validating the data is a huge undertaking. This is a job that would be very costly and time consuming for the department of insurance to take on. The ability to have an organization like NCCI to take this process off the hands of the state governing body allows the workers compensation systems to pass this cost savings on to the business community within the state.

Scopes Manual

The NCCI scopes manual is used by insurance professionals to identify the NCCI workers compensation class codes associated with each employee based upon the activities the employee partakes on a daily basis. Each year there are around 700 different job classification codes. These codes are for the employee and not the business. The code is a three or four digit number associated with a type of work. If you have employees who work in an office setting for parts of their job and out doing other activities at other points of the day or week, than it is important to keep an accurate payroll for those differences. The more accurate your payroll is, the easier the audit process will be at the end of the term.

Set Manual Rates for Workers Compensation Insurance

The rate making process is another huge undertaking that NCCI takes on for its partner states. The rate making process is the largest determining factor towards what businesses within a state pay for workers compensation coverage. The rates are mathematically based, producing an objective pricing system. Each ncci class codes is given a number and that number is multiplied by the employer’s annual payroll in $100 units.  This is often referred to as the “manual rate”. This rate covers security for the system in the form of weekly benefits paid directly to injured workers. The manual rate also covers the workers compensation system by making sure payments to doctors and hospitals are covered. By doing an effective job of this service NCCI saves keeps the state business community solvent and provides a healthy business community for both the employer and employee.

 

 

Kentucky Workers Compensation Rates Are on The Move

Marking more then a decade of declines, Kentucky Workers Compensation Rates are declining again in 2019

In Kentucky, businesses will be paying less for workers compensation insurance in 2019. They will be paying 10.8 percent less on average compared to 2018. Amazingly, this is the 13th consecutive year of continuing declines for workers comp rates throughout the state. There are certain industries that will see a majority of the declines. Those industries that benefit the most  include manufacturing, office and clerical, contracting, as well as goods and services. Depending upon the specifics surrounding the work provided, some industries may see little or no decrease on Kentucky Workers Compensation Rates.  Mining is one such industry that will not be benefiting from declining workers compensation rates. In 2019, Coal Classes increased 28.4 percent for surface mining and 29.5 percent for underground mining.  For the most part, most industries operating in the state of Kentucky, will see improved workers comp rates in 2019.

Seal for the Commonwealth of Kentucky

Why are Kentucky Workers Compensation Rates Declining?

Kentucky Workers Compensation Insurance Rates in 2019 are declining marking more than a decade of continued declines. There are a number of reasons for these declines. Stability in written premium is a strong reason why premium rates remain stable. Also, lower combined ratios throughout the state, and lower loss-time claim frequency have contributed to keeping the market stable and premium rates low.  Some legislative reforms have contributed to the continued decrease in Kentucky Workers Compensation Rates in 2019.

House Bill 2 (HB2) was another substantial factor in continued positive rates for workers comp coverage. HB2 cuts off workers’ compensation benefits when the employee becomes eligible for Social Security benefits, two years after the injury or last exposure. Also, HB2 attempts to re-examine the cut-off provision attempting to be all-inclusive. Now all income benefits will terminate when the employee reaches seventy (70) years of age, or four (4) years after the injury or last exposure, whichever last occurs. Previously the state terminated benefits based on social security eligibility. Insurance carriers, who are actively quoting policy in the state of Kentucky, anticipate HB2 will result in lowering the amount insurers pay out for part-time and permanent disability benefits.

Louisville, Kentucky is a hotbed for horse racing

Kentucky Workers Compensation System Over Haul

The Kentucky State Legislature decided over the last half of 2018 to overhaul the workers compensation system. This will be the most drastic changes to the state system in more than two decades. HB2 spearheaded these changes. HB2 aimed to attack the underlying costs within the system and improve how the system works for everyone involved. Medical expenses and benefits will be impacted. There will also be steps to tackle the growing opioid epidemic within the state of Kentucky.  The overhaul will implement pharmaceutical medical treatment guidelines for medical facilities working within the workers compensation system.  The guidelines are trying to deliver appropriate care to injured workers while limiting waste related to opioid abuse.

In addition to addressing the opioid epidemic, HB2 is also attempting to increase maximum compensation rates temporary and permanent partial disability benefits. These improvements create access to vocational rehabilitation services and makes improvements to the dispute resolution system. The final big change brought on by HB2 is the bill places a 15 year benefit cap from the date of injury that will apply to some cases (not all cases). Most workers who fall in the regulations for this cap eventually return to the workforce and the issue never becomes a problem for the injured worker. It will limit the amount insurers within the system have to pay for some permanent disability claims.

How Can Business Owners Maximize Savings?

Embrace an Ergonomically Friendly Workplace 

Ergonomics in the workplace is gaining support for many industries for a variety of reasons. A lot of insurance claims result from repetitive use injuries. Setting up your employees with the most ergonomically friendly work station can go a long way towards preventing injuries and keeping the costs of insurance claims down.

Monitor Employee Morale

Monitoring employee morale can be an effective way to keep employees happy, healthy, and productive. Disgruntled employees have a tendency to fester and create a number of disgruntled employees. When employee morale is low, an unsafe work environment can happen. Talking to employees and taking their recommendations seriously can help your business improve employee morale and help your business in a number of ways.

Pat Attention to all Near Misses

The best way to learn from near misses is to create an atmosphere where employees feel they can talk about safety situations without fear of repercussions. Honesty is always the best policy. Allowing your employees to talk to you about safety situations allows a business leadership team to learn from the near misses and improve the operations moving forward.

Indiana Workers Compensation Rates are Declining by 7.6%

See What is Contributing to The Improvements in The Indiana Workers Compensation System

Workers Compensation Rates in the state of Indiana are declining in 2019. The amount they are declining is by an average of 7.6 percent. The Indiana Department of Insurance approved the rate decrease in October.  The savings amount to a total of more than $60 million for the business community in Indiana. This marks multiple years of declining workers compensation rates which makes Indiana one of the cheapest states in the country for businesses to buy Workers Compensation Insurance. In fact, as of 2017 workers comp rates in Indiana were 43% cheaper than the national average. Many small business owners still pay far too much for coverage by not taking advantage of all the credits and discounts available to them through partnering with an independent insurance agent.

Covered Bridge in the Indiana Coutryside

Why are Indiana Workers Compensation Rates Declining?

Indiana Workers Compensation Rates in 2019 are decreasing because a number of reasons. The highest contributor to the declining rates is the lowering frequency of insurance claims. Because of these decrease in the frequency of claims, the insurance carriers do not have to pay out as much for those claims. These savings allow insurance carriers to pass on some of those savings to their customers, the business community in Indiana.

Additionally, the department of insurance credited a robust job market for declining rates. this is because as the economy strengthens more people create businesses which in turn creates a larger pool for insurers to collect premium. Not all businesses will receive the same decline in rates. Some businesses we see a more significant decline while some businesses may see little to no decline in premium. This is attributed to a number of factors including industry, payroll, and claims history.

Indiana City Skyline

How is the Indiana Workers Compensation System Unique?

The Indiana Workers Compensation System has some aspects of it that are unique from other states.  Like most states, in Indiana employers are required to purchase workers compensation coverage if they employ one or more workers. Most states are NCCI States, meaning they use the National Council for Compensation Insurance to determine rates on premium for the various classification codes throughout the state.  Indiana does not primarily use NCCI. The state uses the Indiana Compensation Rating Bureau as the assigned risk provider and to establish pure premium rates. The ICRB does partner with NCCI for some of the workers compensation system functions including ratemaking and for using the NCCI basic manual. The ICRB does not use all NCCI Class Codes. As a business owner, it is important to always confirm your classification codes with the ICRB.

 

What Can Indiana Business Owners Do To Amplify Workers Compensation Savings?

Understand The Businesses Experience Modification Rating

Understanding a businesses experience modification rating is one of the single most impactful things a business owner can do to positively effect what the business pays for workers compensation rates. This rating is the main factor underwriters used to determine if they are going to offer a business coverage and if so, how much they are going to charge for it. Knowing what goes in to this rating and taking adequate steps to keep it low will have a lasting impact on what a business pays for workers compensation insurance coverage.

Bundle all Policies

Bundling all of a businesses insurance policies into one package of policies is a great way to save on premium. Most businesses near more coverage than just the legally required minimum coverages of Workers Compensation and General Liability. Most carriers have packages offered in a Business Owners Package (BOP) and Commercial Policy Package (CPP) that are designed specifically for businesses within a particular industry. Bundling multiple policies together with one carrier typically saves you on premium and prevents gaps in coverage. A gap is when a business has two policies that they think cover a claim, but each policy has an exclusion for a particular claim. This commonly occurs when a business purchases multiple policies from multiple carriers.

Pay Premium in Full

If your business has cash on hand and has the ability to pay the full amount of yearly premium, it is in your best interest to do so.  The insurance carrier will typically give a business a discount if they are able to pull their premium in full.

Make your Workplace Ergonomically Friendly  

Another way to help control what your business pays for workers compensation premium is to ensure every employee has a workstation that is ergonomically friendly. This may cause customization based upon each individual employee, but focusing on an ergonomically friendly work space on the front end can save the business enormously on insurance claims from repetitive motion issues like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Monitor Employee Morale

Keeping a tab on the morale of your workforce is a good way to prevent accidents from occurring. Happy employees are healthy employees and healthy employees create less insurance claims.  Taking additional steps to be proactive about employee morale can help a business deal with employee morale before it becomes a much bigger problem.

Workers Comp Rates in North Carolina are Declining by 17.2% in 2019

See how this decline will impact the North Carolina Business Community

In the year 2019, North Carolina Businesses will be paying an average of 17.2% less for workers compensation insurance premium. This is in addition to a 12.5% decrease in 2017 and 8.5% decrease in 2016.  According to Mike Causey, the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner, “This rate decrease should serve as an economic boon to the state’s small businesses. I am pleased to approve the North Carolina Rate Bureau’s request for lower rates because it will ultimately put more money in the pockets of business owners and our consumers.” Prior to this decrease, North Carolina was previously ranked 23 out of 50 states when it comes to workers compensation premium. This decrease should lower the ranking significantly. Some industries did better than others. The manufacturing industry will only see an average decrease of 6.5% while office and clerical businesses will see a decrease of 19.3%.  North Carolina is the 10th most populous state with more than 47% of the workforce working for a small business. These changes should help an enormous amount of the population and have positive impacts on the economy at large.

North Carolina grunge wood background with North Carolinian State flag painted on aged wooden wall.

Why are North Carolina Workers Compensation Rates Declining in 2019

There are a number of reasons why North Carolina Workers Compensation Rates are coming down in 2019.  One large reason for the decline is the strength of the state provider in the North Carolina Workers Compensation System. North Carolina has their own governing body meaning they partner with the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), but they do not let NCCI do all of the recommendations within the system.  The state governing body allows NCCI to gather policy data, detailed claim information, and experience rating. The state than handles other parts of the system. This allows NCCI to do what it does best, but allows the state to take on other aspects it can do without the help of NCCI.  In the end the partnership is a win-win for the business community throughout the state.

An additional reason for the favorable climate for workers comp in North Carolina is insurance carriers having and paying out fewer workers’ compensation claims. Because of the large amount of these declines in claims, the insurance carriers are able to pass on the savings to customers. According to Jeff Eddinger, Senior Division Executive at NCCI, “The big theme is workplaces continue to be safer”.  Safer workplaces make for less claims and the claims that are reported are less severe in nature.

There were also reforms to the workers comp system made in 2014 and 2015 that contributed to the declines.  Those reforms were adjustments to the fee schedule creating a 5 percent less in payments for nonhospital providers on top of a 24 percent reduction in outpatient treatment costs. The reforms also contributed to an 11 percent reduction in in patient treatment.

Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina

How Can Businesses Maximize Savings on North Carolina Workers Compensation Rates 2019

Use an Independent Agent

Using an Independent Agent is typically one of the best ways to make sure your business is the best value for your worker compensation premium. It is a good way to save because an independent agent does not work for one particular insurance carrier. They are a true middle man who knows which carriers are actively looking to quote policies in your state or your industry. This knowledge allows an independent agent to make the carriers compete against each other for your business. The result of this competition is better coverage at lower rates for your business.

Understand Your Experience Modification Rating

There are many things that go in to a businesses experience modification rating.  The main thing a business can do to control this rating is to run a safe operation and limit the frequency and severity of insurance claims. If you take some time to talk to your insurance agent about the ins and outs of your operations and ask them what you can do to control the rating, it can help limit what your business pays in insurance premium.

Prepare for Natural Disasters

In the state of North Carolina, natural disasters are a part of life. Tornadoes are a risk in the Spring and Summer. Hurricanes come around every Fall and cause floods in their aftermath. In recent years the mountains have dealt with dangerous forest fires and some areas have even experienced a small earthquake. No matter where your business is located or what risks you think you can predict, natural disasters are something all businesses need to prepare for.

Implement a Safety Program

A safety program can deliver the most impact for you business when it comes to what a business pays for workers compensation premium. A safety program is simply the right thing to do. If implemented correctly, it will keep your staff safe, healthy, more productive, and absent less frequently. It will reduced the amount of damage done to the equipment a business owns.  It is equally important to document all safety meetings for when you are purchasing commercial insurance and when you have a claim occur.

Connecticut Will Experience 17% Decline in Workers Compensation Rates in 2019

Connecticut Workers Compensation Insurance Rates are going to be going down in 2019!!!

Connecticut Workers Compensation Rates are on the decline for next year. Decreasing by an average of 17%. This is a significant amount of a decline and it marks the fifth year in a row that businesses have paid less for workers compensation insurance premium. The Connecticut Insurance Department previously approved rate declines of 3% in 2014, 4% in 2015, 11% in 2016 and 14% in 2017.  Over this period of time rates have declined by just under 50 percent.

Red Barn located in the Connecticut Countryside.

Why are Connecticut Workers Comp Rates Going Down?

Connecticut Workers Compensation Rates are decreasing because of a decrease int he number of workplace injuries and a decrease in the number of claims filed by business throughout the state. Both of these factors are a result of business owners implementing more effective safety programs that include return to work programs that help injured workers get back on the job quicker. In addition to these improvements, Connecticut is also seeing lower medical costs per claim.

What can Connecticut Business Owners do to Maximize Savings?

Shop Your Policy Around

It is wise to look around to other carriers from time to time. It is not wise to change carriers frequently based only on price. Carriers value customers who have been with them for multiple years. When a business experiences a year in which there is a large claim or a year in which the business experiences multiple claims; the carrier will be more kind to the business if they are a return customer. This can prevent your business from being dropped from coverage altogether or from your rate increasing significantly. It is important to shop around to make sure your carrier is competitive with the open market, but it is not a good idea to change carriers frequently based only on price.

Partner with an Independent Agent

One of the best ways to shop your policy around is to partner with an independent agent who can shop your policy around for you. An independent agent has relationships established with multiple carriers, not one or a select few. This allows them to quote your business with many carriers in an attempt to get better coverage and lower rates. Independent agents know which carriers are hungry to offer coverage to a particular industry or a particular coverage. This allows them to leverage this knowledge to get your business better coverage at lower rates.

Choose The Pay as You Go Option

The Pay as You Go Workers Compensation Option is great for some cash strapped businesses because it allows them to get coverage in place at significantly less up front cost compared to a traditional workers comp policy. A Pay as You Go Policy also decreases the likelihood of a mid-term audit because the premiums are paid each month based on the real-time payroll from the previous month.