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Workers’ comp. insurance rates drop for fourth consecutive year

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DOVER – 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.

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