Work Comp Rates
Workers’ compensation rates are falling in Alaska. On January 1st businesses will see an average 17.5% drop. That’s a 14.8% drop for voluntary loss costs.
Alaska Insurance Director Lori Wing-Heier said yes to the new rates based on the recommendation of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). The new rates for 2019 follow a 5.4% decrease in 2017.
Rates in the state have fallen by 25% since 2015.
Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas said, “This would be the biggest year-to-year decrease in workers’ compensation rates in 40 years. The department worked tirelessly to reform the workers’ compensation system to increase efficiency and lower medical costs, both major factors in premiums.”
Governor Bill Walker agrees. “These proposed rate reductions are welcome news for Alaska businesses — lower workers’ compensation costs reduce the burden on the small businesses that strengthen our economy,” he said.
Source link: Business Insurance
Notice of Company Applying to become an Idaho Certified Insurer
As of November 8, 2018, Hannover Rück SE of Hannover, Germany (AA-1340125 and NAIC Company Code 10241) has applied to become a Certified Reinsurer in the State of Idaho.
For questions or concerns regarding this application, please contact Nathan Faragher with the Idaho Department of Insurance no later than December 9, 2018. He can be reached at 208-334-4250, or by e-mail at: email@example.com.
Visit doi.idaho.gov for further information.
Wildlife & Roadways
An increased potential for vehicular accidents involving deer and elk on Idaho roadways occurs during fall when cooler weather encourages wildlife activity. The Idaho Department of Insurance urges drivers to always drive with caution and to be on the lookout for animals on the roadway, most particularly during dawn and dusk when wildlife tends to be more active.
During this time, deer and elk naturally migrate to lower, warmer elevations, increasing their chances of crossing paths with a vehicle on the road. Deer, elk and other wildlife tend to travel in herds, so if you see one, others may follow. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA), about 1.5 million deer-related auto accidents happen nationwide each year, resulting in more than $1 billion in annual insured losses.
“Driving requires your full attention, most especially in rural areas or near migration routes where wildlife can make their way onto open roadways,” said Director Dean Cameron. “It’s also important to review your auto policy and make sure you have proper coverage that can protect your loved ones and other drivers.”
‘Comprehensive’ coverage and not liability or collision is the portion of an automobile policy that Department officials say will pay for auto damages caused by wildlife. Filing a claim for an accident covered by comprehensive coverage may still require paying a deductible before the insurer will cover the cost of the claim up to the policy limit. Contact your insurance agent to discuss adding comprehensive coverage that will cover animal collisions. Always be sure to take photos or video of any damage to support an insurance claim.
Oregon Democratic Leadership
Oregon House Democrats, fresh off election victories that saw the caucus’ majority expand to 38 members, has elected their new leadership team for the 2019 Legislative session. Rep. Tina Kotek has been nominated to serve an additional term as Speaker of the House, while Rep. Jennifer Williamson was re-elected to serve in her role as the House Majority Leader.
Oregon Senate Democrats elected the following state senators to leadership positions:
Senate President Designate: Peter Courtney, D-Salem;
Senate President Pro Tempore Designate: Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham;
Senate Majority Leader: Ginny Burdick, D-Portland;
Senate Deputy Majority Leader: Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Beaverton;
In the 2019 Session, Democrats will hold an 18-12 majority in the Senate.
Workers’ compensation claims processing locations, reporting, recordkeeping; employer coverage requirements and effects of noncompliance
The Workers’ Compensation Division has published final rules to its website: https://wcd.oregon.gov/laws/Documents/New_rules/50-18061-posted-new.pdf.
The revised rules are in:
OAR 436-050, Employer/Insurer Coverage Responsibility; and
OAR 436-080, Noncomplying Employers.
These rules are substantially the same as when previously proposed. No public testimony was submitted regarding the proposed rules or presented at the hearing. A summary of the changes is included at the bottom of this message.
Please let me know if you have questions.
Fred Bruyns, policy analyst/rules coordinator
Department of Consumer and Business Services
Workers' Compensation Division
503-947-7717; fax 503-947-7514
Summary of changes in OAR 436-050:
Amended rule 0005 defines “claims processing location” as a place of business maintained or operated by an insurer, self-insured employer, self-insured employer group, or service company to process claims and keeps records as required by ORS 731.475 and 656.455. The rule excludes a post office box, commercial mail receiving agency, virtual office, or an employee’s place of residence from the definition.
Amended rule 0045 restores the definition of “adult foster home” removed from the rule by Administrative Order 16-054, effective 1/1/17.
Amended rule 0110 clarifies the requirements for in-state claims processing by insurers, and for registration of claims processing locations. The rule clarifies notification requirements for insurers that use service companies, and specifies what elements must be included in the agreement between the insurer and each service company. The rule also adds references to optional forms for use by insurers.
Amended rule 0120 includes minor clarifying wording changes regarding the requirements for maintenance, removal, and disposition of Oregon claim records.
Amended rule 0210 clarifies the requirements for in-state claims processing by self-insured employers, and for registration of claims processing locations. The rule clarifies notification requirements for self-insured employers that use service companies, and specifies what elements must be included in the agreement between the employer and each service company. The rule also adds references to optional forms for use by self-insured employers.
Amended rule 0220 includes minor clarifying wording changes regarding the requirements for maintenance, removal, and disposition of Oregon claim records, and replaces reference to “claim records” with “claims records.”
Summary of changes in OAR 436-080:
Repealed rule 0001 included a statement of the director’s authority for promulgating rules – removed because this authority is provided under ORS chapter 656, and it does not need to be stated in rule.
Repealed rule 0002 included a statement of purpose that has been moved, with wording changes, to rule 0003.
Amended rule 0003 includes a statement of purpose to replace the statement in repealed rule 0002, and the rule explains that the director may waive procedural rules as justice requires, unless otherwise obligated by statute.
Amended rule 0005 defines “noncomplying employer order,” and removes definitions of certain terms no longer used in these rules or that are defined in ORS chapter 656.
Repealed rule 0006 explained that orders issued by the division are considered to be orders of the director; however, all orders under these rules are orders of the director.
Amended rule 0010 describes the procedure for an employer to contest a noncomplying employer order and the consequence of not appealing the order within the time allowed.
Repealed rule 0020 explained the consequences if an employer does not appeal a noncomplying employer order within the time allowed, and this provision has been moved to rule 0010.
Repealed rule 0030 explained procedures for an employer to contest a noncomplying employer order, and this provision has been moved and reworded to rule 0010. The provisions of rule 0030 related to the agency’s participation in hearing are replaced with a reference to OAR 436-001-0030.
Amended rule 0040:
• Provides for the director’s discretion to impose civil penalties under ORS 656.735(2) in amounts less than $250 per day, consistent with statute
• Specifies methods that may be used for the calculation of premium amounts that would have been paid if the employer had obtained coverage, to include estimation of payroll when necessary, and application of assigned risk rates established by the National Council on Compensation Insurance
• Has clearer wording and is reorganized to enhance clarity
Amended rule 0060 has clearer wording and includes a statement that OAR 436-001-0030(2) to (5) apply to hearings regarding non-subjectivity determinations.
Amended rule 0065 has clearer wording regarding determination of an assigned claims agent.
Amended rule 0070 has clearer wording regarding reimbursement of the assigned claims agent.
Amended rule 0080 has clearer wording and removes a provision explaining which section within the Department of Consumer and Business services is responsible for collection of moneys owed by noncomplying employers.