New England Insurance Agent Blog

Focus on Workers’ Comp: Ranking the New England States

Every two years the state of Oregon's Department of Business and Consumer Services issues national rankings for the cost of workers comp. The study compares rates for 50 widely used classifications. It is by no means a perfect measure, but the rankings do provide a reasonably accurate picture of state to state costs. In 2016 California holds onto its (dubious) number one ranking, with New Jersey and New York in the next two slots.

Attending MAIA's Big Event? Be sure to visit us!

New England Insurance Agents: Visit us at Booth #70-71 at MAIA's #BigEvent16 at the Marriott Copley Place. Renaissance Alliance staff will be out in full force and waiting to meet you. We're eager to talk to you about our many programs and benefits and everything that's new since last year's show. Plus, we'll be doing a drawing for a 40" Samsung Smart TV so be sure to stop by and put your name in for that! 

Focus on Workers Comp: Are your MA insureds still paying medical-only claims?

Insured payment of medical-only claims developed in the 1990s as an informal “under the radar” practice between insureds and insurers. It began when the rates in Massachusetts were 65 percent higher than they are today. This experience modification reduction technique required – and would still require – the tacit participation of insurers. However, most insurers in MA are no longer willing to support this practice. As a result, agents need to make sure that their insureds are no longer handling small claims in this manner.

The Uber Chronicles: Who is an Employee?

We have been following the employment status of workers in the Gig economy. From FedEx to Uber and Lyft, innovative companies are challenging conventional concepts of employment. By defining their workers as independent contractors, these companies avoid roughly 35 percent of added costs for unemployment insurance, workers comp coverage, Fair Labor Law standards (minimum wage), along with retirement and health benefits. In terms of the cost of doing business, this is a big deal.

Workers comp: Fraud Through the Roof

In the annals of workers comp fraud, the class code of roofers often provides the headlines. It's not difficult to figure out why: the roofing class code in MA (5545) carries a whopping rate of $37.05 per $100 of payroll. That's over a third of a company's payroll, assuming that their experience mod is below 1.0. If the mod drifts upwards, they could easily owe 50% of their payroll for this mandatory coverage. (That being said, the pool rate for roofers in CT is $60.24 per $100 of payroll!)

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