Last week, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that insurers’ workers’ compensation costs have plummeted by 70 percent since the workers’ comp reforms of 2003 were implemented—and as a result, pure premium rates will remain unchanged for now. Poizner noted, though, that insurers should continue to pass on the cost savings to businesses in the form of lower rates.
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Of course, this is good news for California employers. But your rates may still be higher than you’d like—and insurers may not be offering you the best deal—if your organization has a poor safety record. Here’s a 4-point plan you can follow to help you get your workers’ comp house in order and possibly qualify for a rate reduction:
- Review. What safety measures have you already implemented? What are your losses? Review past claims to identify patterns and mistakes.
- Commit. Is safety a top priority for management? Brokers and insurers may be reluctant to work with prospective clients who aren’t committed to safety.
- Inspect. Are your workplace hazards related to small clean-up issues, such as debris, minor spills, or access problems? Or do your hazards relate to more systemic work-process issues such as those that could cause costly repetitive stress injuries?
- Analyze. How much money is needed to correct the problems you’ve identified? What savings are possible? Compare your premium rates to the average for other employers in your industry to get a sense of what you could be paying if you can get your safety house in order.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation: A Guide for California Employers (Start your guest access and get this now)