Posted on May 19, 2014
What does a stagnant economy, rising medical costs and declining workers compensation claims mean in Oregon? According to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, it means that it is time for a rate increase on workers compensation insurance policies.
Effective January 1, 2012 Oregon raised its pure premium rate to 1.9 percent, which is the first rate increase since 1990. States make decisions on base rates by reviewing recommendations of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). The NCCI found that medical costs for claims in Oregon were on the rise and coupled with the slow economy, there was a need to increase rates.
The Department of Consumer and Business Services stated that from 1990 to 2011 rates actually declined by almost 63 percent. Additionally, the state also has a premium assessment rate that decreased from 6.4 percent to 6.2 percent beginning January 1st as well. The premium assessment helps to fund programs for workplace health, safety and workers' compensation.
While Oregon business owners have no control of state set rates, they can take measures to review existing their workers compensation policy in order to find ways to save on premiums. It is important to review commercial insurance policies each year to make sure that coverage is adequate and any that is not needed removed. For workers compensation insurance, companies will want to make sure that each employee is correctly classified as rates vary depending on employee tasks. Many insurance carriers also offer group rates so find out if there are industry trade associations to join that offer workers compensation discounts. Professional insurance agents and brokers are one of the best resources to assist companies with properly evaluating workers comp policies and finding additional savings.