Workers’ Comp. Insurance Rates Drop for Fourth Consecutive Year

Decrease and Workplace Safety Program save businesses money during unprecedented time

Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro announced today that workers’ compensation insurance rates will decrease for the fourth year in a row, effective December 1, 2020. The voluntary market is seeing yet another double-digit decrease in loss costs, with an average 11.56% reduction, and residual market rates will go down an average of 8.8%.

“For four consecutive years we have been able to decrease workers’ compensation costs for businesses of all sizes. This year’s reduction will help decrease business expenses as we continue to experience the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Commissioner Navarro. “These lower costs can attract new companies to our state and increase employment opportunities as many organizations look to move out of major metropolitan areas.”

The Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau (DCRB) approved the lower rates after discussion with the Department of Insurance and the State’s Ratepayer Advocate. The approval process includes a review by actuaries for the parties, as well as a public hearing. It is important to note that actual savings may differ and will vary by policy. Last year’s decreases saved businesses more than $4 million in premiums.

These lower rates are just one component of several efforts shepherded by the Department to help businesses financially. More than 1,100 employers are saving even more money on their workers’ compensation premiums by participating in the department’s Workplace Safety Program. Last year’s savings was approximately $7.6 million. Eligible businesses can earn up to a 19% discount on their insurance by providing and maintaining a safe place to work.

“Now more than ever, increasing workplace safety and decreasing business overhead is so important,” said Commissioner Navarro. “Our inspectors are working extremely hard to negotiate challenges caused by COVID-19 and are doing an impressive job completing safety audits during these extraordinarily unusual circumstances. I want to commend them and our entire Workplace Safety team for their incredible work.”

Eligible businesses are notified about the program each year seven months prior to their renewal date, but late applications are being accepted as many businesses were closed when they were notified of their eligibility. Organizations interested in participating can access questionnaires online and contact safety@delaware.gov to begin the process.

Interested employers are urged to note on their questionnaires their current hours and best point of contact if these have been adjusted due to COVID-19 so inspectors can plan site visits. A physical walkthrough is still required for employers to earn a safety discount. Only benefits can be gained by participating, failure to qualify cannot be the basis for premium increases or sanctions imposed by other safety enforcement officials.

View the DCRB website


Insurance Commissioner Shares Reopening Reminders

Businesses urged to revisit insurance needs, encourage workplace safety

The Delaware Department of Insurance is sharing reminders with businessowners regarding important measures to take as phased reopenings begin and providing resources that can help companies enhance worker and customer safety throughout the reopening process.

Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro recommends that businesses revisit their insurance plans in order to verify that they remain active and account for any changes that occurred due to COVID-19 related closures and economic impacts, stating “Businesses have gone through a lot of transition during COVID-19, and their insurance circumstances may have changed as well.” Companies should contact their insurer if they have policy questions or concerns.

Governor John Carney’s reopening plan provides a phased approach to economic rehabilitation, with Phase 1 of business openings beginning on June 1. During Phase 1, enumerated establishments including restaurants, retail establishments, and malls may open with a maximum capacity of 30%, requires face coverings, and strict social distancing guidelines. Industry-specific requirements are included in the reopening plan.

“As businesses bring employees back to work and start interacting with members of the public, there are many aspects of COVID-19 prevention that management should take into account to ensure the safety of all involved,” said Commissioner Navarro.

Last week, the Delaware Division of Small Business, in association with the Division of Public Health, announced COVID-19 Consumer Protection Standards. This voluntary self-reporting program offers a checklist of safety precautions and a public-facing window cling for participants. It is important to note that this program is not related to the Delaware Department of Insurance Workplace Safety Program. Participants in the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Standards will not receive the workers’ compensation insurance discounts that are available in the Department of Insurance Workplace Safety Program.

Additional guidance for businesses is available on the Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 website, including industry-specific information for retail businesses, restaurants, transportation companies, construction, manufacturing, healthcare, and more, as well as content in multiple languages.

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Companies Save Over $4 Million From Reduced Workers’ Compensation Rates

Workplace Safety Program saves $7.6 million for participants

The Delaware Department of Insurance has analyzed new filings from the state’s top writers of workers’ compensation insurance after announcing the third consecutive year of decreased rates in November. The top writers represent nearly 10,000 companies that hold policies within the state. Policyholders of these companies will see a total premium impact of more than $3.7 million, and when the entire writer universe is included, the Department expects realized savings of more than $4 million.

“Delaware businesses large and small are seeing decreased premiums from the third consecutive year of workers’ compensation rate decreases, and that benefits everyone,” said Commissioner Trinidad Navarro. “We will continue to work to make sure that Delaware has an inviting atmosphere for businesses and safe environments for employees.”

Technology Insurance Company, Inc.’s filing shows that their reduction will save policyholders a total of $845,594. Wesco Insurance Company’s total premium change of $651,721 takes the second-place spot for savings, while eight other top insurers are reporting six-digit premium impacts. Of the state’s top writers, American Zurich Insurance Company filed with the largest overall percentage rate impact, a decrease of 17.50%, with five other companies posting double-digit drops.

While realized savings will vary business to business, more discounts can be accessed through the Workplace Safety Program offered by the department. In 2019, 1,119 companies participated in the program, saving a combined $7.6 million through safety credits on their $72.9 million employer premium total – a savings of more than 10%. Businesses can earn discounts of up to 19% by providing and maintaining a safe place to work. More information on this program is available at insurance.delaware.gov/services/workplacesafety.

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