The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) has presented a plan that will hold next year's statewide average base premium rate for private employers paying into Ohio's workers' compensation system at the current level. If approved by the BWC board of directors at its May 24 meeting, the plan would extend the $65 million in rate cuts enacted last year for Ohio's private sector employers.
BWC’s proposal would maintain last year's 4 percent average...
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s choice for appointment to the state-chartered workers’ compensation insurance fund has been rejected by a Senate committee. Marcia Benshoof, a workers’ compensation attorney, was an executive at the fund—Pinnacol Assurance—until 2009.
Established in 1915, the residual-market entity operates as a mutual insurance company and is overseen by an eight-member board, all appointed by the governor. The fund covers some 55,000 Colorado businesses and had earned premium of more than $385 million in 2011. Hickenlooper has been pushing to take the insurer private, a position supported by Benshoof.
05.08.2012By JOAN E. COLLIER
The New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) improperly paid seven inmates more than $36,000 in workers' compensation benefits while they were in state prison, according to an examination released May 4 by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
"Simply stated, inmates serving felony time are not entitled to a dime of workers' compensation benefits. These payments are indefensible and should have been stopped," DiNapoli said. "The Workers' Compensation Board owes it to businesses and taxpayers to...
Edmund J. Kelly of Boulder, Col., was recently chosen president of the American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS), an organization that develops policy forms and rating information used by more than 700 property and casualty companies throughout the U.S.
Kelly's appointment was announced by Paul Baiocchi, the longtime president of AAIS who will continue as CEO through a period of transition. Baiocchi has been with AAIS for 36 years, 25 of them as president and CEO. He made...
05.04.2012By JOAN E. COLLIER
A report from Washington Roundtable, Benchmarks for a Better Washington, says that Washington is the most expensive state in the nation for workers’ compensation benefits paid per covered worker. In 2009 (the most recent full data available), Washington provided an average of $857.32 per covered worker, nearly twice the national average of $448.94. The group derived its information from the annual study on workers’ compensation benefits in all 50 states from the National Academy of Social Insurance.<...
Julie Ferguson presents a snapshot of NCCI's annual Workers' Compensation Issues Report.
A former executive director of the New Hampshire Local Government Center (LGC) is blaming “competition with another insurance organization” for violations regarding the group’s workers’ compensation plan, according to a report in the Concord Monitor.
John Andrews, who retired in 2009, says that he and his board “met with outside consultants who suggested transferring surplus funding from LGC's successful HealthTrust risk pool into its struggling workers' compensation program in order to...
International insurance brokerage and risk management services firm Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. reported gains in its brokerage and risk management business segments for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.
“Our positive operating momentum continued in the first quarter of 2012 despite it being seasonally our smallest quarter,” J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr., chairman, president and CEO said. “Coming off a strong finish in 2011, we are pleased to see another quarter of strong organic growth, improved adjusted EBITDAC...
A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of “A” (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a+” of super-regional property/casualty insurance carrier The Main Street America Group and its members. The outlook for these ratings is stable.
Concurrently, A.M. Best has assigned an FSR of “A” (Excellent) and ICR of “a+” to Spring Valley Mutual Insurance Co., a Minnesota-domiciled carrier which became...
Political compromise is not dead, at least in the Show-Me State. Some six weeks after he vetoed legislation that would have changed the state's workers' compensation system, Missouri's Democratic governor Jay Nixon is signaling that he is open to compromise with Republican lawmakers, according to news stories from various media outlets.
The Missouri system underwent a major overhaul in 2005, with detractors claiming it heavily favored employers. Everyone is still studying the details of the new...
“The Medicare Secondary Payer and Workers’ Compensation Settlement Agreement Act of 2012” has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to clean up some details involving workers’ compensation Medicare set-asides.
The major problem with the current process appears to be delays in the review of proposed set-asides.
"This legislation will provide clear and consistent standards for the CMS administrative process,” said Melissa Shelk, American Insurance Association (AIA) vice president...
05.01.2012By JOAN E. COLLIER
The workers’ compensation community has a new national organization and website to turn to for education, information, and interaction. The Workers’ Compensation Institute (WCI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to serving all members of the workers’ compensation community—risk managers, insurers, agents, brokers, employers, employees, and claims, medical, and legal professionals.
The WCI is the organizing sponsor of the annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference (WCEC). Held...
The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation (TDI-DWC) approved seven renewals of the Certificates of Authority for companies to self-insure their workers’ compensation claims for a one-year period under the TDI-DWC Self-Insurance Program. These companies collectively employ approximately 27,900 employees in Texas.
Under Texas law, certain large, private companies can self-insure for workers’ compensation claims, while retaining the protection of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act for the company and for its employees. To...
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that Jeong M. Baek, 36, the owner of Baeks Brother Construction, Inc. has been arraigned on one felony count each for violating Penal Code Section 550 (b) (3), Insurance Fraud, Penal Code Section 664/118, Attempted Perjury, Insurance Code Section 11880 (a), Workers' Compensation Insurance Premium Fraud, and Unemployment Insurance Code Section 2118.5, Failure to collect and/or pay taxes. If convicted, Baek could face up to five years in state prison on each insurance fraud count and restitution...
According to the 2011 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses in 2009 amounted to $50.1 billion in direct U.S. workers’ compensation costs. After adjusting for inflation, this year’s costs decreased 6.5 percent from 2008.
Liberty Mutual’s annual Workplace Safety Index identifies the top causes of serious nonfatal workplace injuries based on information from the company’s workers compensation insurance claims, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and...
EMPLOYERS has launched PrecisePay, its new pay-as-you-go billing program designed to simplify workers’ compensation premium payments, save time and improve cash flow. EMPLOYERS is a group of companies providing workers' compensation insurance and services to select, small American businesses.
Because workers’ compensation insurance premiums are based on payroll data, the new PrecisePay offering helps small businesses better manage cash flow by enabling them to make smaller payments on a more frequent basis. PrecisePay also eliminates...
Global property insurance rates continued to firm in the first quarter of 2012, according to a report published April 10 by Marsh. Despite the absence of major natural catastrophes during the first three months of the year, rates rose for both catastrophe-exposed and non-catastrophe exposed risks in most geographies.
The leading driver of change in the property market is the insured catastrophe losses experienced in 2011, according to Marsh’s Global Insurance Market Quarterly Briefing: First Quarter 2012. The effects of these...
Eastern Insurance Holdings, Inc. (EIHI) reported net income for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2011 of $2.8 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $11.8 million, or $1.37 per diluted share, for the same period in 2010. Included in the net loss for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2010 was an after-tax loss on the sale of Eastern Atlantic RE of $14.5 million, or $1.68 per diluted share. EIHI's net income for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2011 and 2010 includes net realized...
The American Insurance Association (AIA) calls the so-called "privatization" of the Injured Workers Insurance Fund (IWIF), Maryland's state-run workers' compensation insurer, a mischaracterization because IWIF maintains distinct advantages over the private market. During the final hours of the Maryland General Assembly's 2012 session, it passed SB 745 which proponents inaccurately claim will "privatize" IWIF by subsequently renaming it Chesapeake Employers' Insurance in 2013. However, legislators were unable to approve SB 152, the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2012 (BRFA), which contained...
The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has fined an insurance agency $40,000 for charging 117 employers fees for services involving workers’ compensation insurance. The charges occurred over a nearly four-year period ending in May 2010.
Insurance companies that provide workers’ compensation insurance are required to provide services to help employers prevent health and safety problems. However, Oregon law requires the insurers to provide such services as part of the workers’ compensation package and thus prohibits...