As I have said in previous emails workers compensation has become a troubled line of business for insurance companies. The combined loss ratio for the industry for this year is around 130%. I just received word that the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has now recommended an 18% rate increase for January. This now needs to go to the Insurance Commissioner for his recommendation and I would expect he will recommend a lower increase. Once that is done insurance companies are not bound by the Insurance Commissioners recommendation but we are seeing insurance companies taking increases and reducing their credits.
The Bureau recommended a 10% increase July 1. I had a couple of representatives from the Bureau in last week. They indicated they wanted to do more for businesses and want to become more visible. If you have a question on what classifications your employees should be put into you can call them at 415-777-0777. If you have an experience modification you should get a copy of the Bureaus worksheet. Your broker should be able to provide this.
One bit of information that might be useful for those of you that will be getting your first experience modification is that you will be audited by the Bureau when you receive your new modification. If you already have a modification this is not necessarily the case.
How many of you have ever heard of the WCIRB?
I have written in previous emails that all businesses that have employees need to have a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program. This has been the case since 1991 and I still find that most small businesses don’t have one. You can do this yourself by going to http://www.dir.ca.gov/DOSH/etools/09-031/index.htm or I have made arrangements with a consultant who will do this in most cases for $150 to $200. Contact me if you are interested.
Note you need to do more than write the plan and put it on a shelf. You need to talk about it with your employees. You need to have it available to all employees. This is the most prevalent fine OSHA gives.
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA 94116