As Rates Rise, Delaware Solicits Changes to Workers’ Comp Classes

January 20, 2006

Delaware Insurance Commissioner Matt Denn has asked Delaware businesses to submit requests for classification changes under the workers’ compensation insurance system if they believe that changes would make more sense and save them money.

Under the existing workers compensation insurance system, businesses offering similar types of employment are grouped into classes and premium rates are set for each class.

According to Denn, some business owners have said that they have been grouped with industries that have higher risks resulting in higher workers’ compensation rates. He suggests that new classification groups would allow such businesses to be rated more accurately based upon the experience of similar employers.

His request comes as overall workers’ compensation in the state rates are going. Denn recently approved increases of 8.1 percent in residual market rates and 7.1 percent in voluntary market loss costs to be effective on new and renewal policies as of Dec. 1, 2005.

“As part of our efforts to reduce the burden of workers’ compensation insurance on Delaware businesses, I am asking that businesses send requests for special rate classifications to me and I will forward them to the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau, which maintains the rate classes,” Denn said.

Requests for special classifications should be submitted to Denn’s office by January 31.

Denn also highlighted two other potential ways for businesses to save money on workers compensation insurance. Businesses can save up to 19 percent on premiums by taking part in the state-administered workplace safety program. “This program is particularly important for smaller employers, who do not have enough employees to be rated primarily based upon their own experience,” Denn said.

Business owners can also compare the rates of all companies through the DCRB web site at www.dcrb.com.

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