Workers’ compensation insurance rates in Delaware have been on the decline for the seventh consecutive year. This news comes as a relief to business owners who were burdened by high premiums, prompting some to consider relocating to neighboring states with more affordable rates. However, thanks to the efforts of a task force and the implementation of a fee schedule in 2016, the issue has been successfully addressed.
The consistent decrease in rates can be attributed to the collaborative work of the Delaware Department of Insurance and the state’s Ratepayer Advocate. Their ongoing efforts have resulted in a drop of 13.85% in residual market rates and a 10.03% decrease in voluntary markets this year.
The residual market refers to coverage provided to companies that are unable to obtain voluntary market coverage due to cost, high risk, or their claims history. The significant decrease in the residual market indicates that more businesses are now able to secure coverage through the voluntary market, indicating an improvement in affordability and employee safety across the state.
Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro credits the success in lowering rates to the department’s Workplace Safety Program, which focuses on improving safety conditions in the workplace. The program has not only helped drive rates down but also benefits workers by providing safer environments. In fact, some workers may even receive bonuses if there are no workplace injuries during a specific time period.
Despite the positive impact of the Workplace Safety Program, Navarro acknowledges that there is a need to encourage more businesses to participate. Currently, only around 1,100 employers are taking advantage of the program’s benefits, meaning that a large majority of eligible companies are not yet participating. By simply undergoing an annual safety inspection and complying with the program’s recommendations, companies can save up to 19% on their workers’ compensation premiums.
To encourage more businesses to participate, Navarro emphasizes that not only will companies benefit financially, but they will also contribute to creating safer workplaces for their employees. The Workplace Safety Program plays a crucial role in ensuring employee well-being and reducing the frequency of workplace injuries.
For more information on the program and how businesses can reap the benefits of lower workers’ compensation insurance rates, interested parties can visit the Delaware Department of Insurance’s website at insurance.delaware.gov. The website provides comprehensive information on the program and outlines the steps businesses need to take to participate.
The decrease in workers’ compensation insurance rates in Delaware is a positive development for both businesses and their employees. By continuing to prioritize workplace safety and encouraging more businesses to participate in the Workplace Safety Program, Delaware aims to further improve the affordability of workers’ compensation insurance and create safer working environments for all.