The Workers Comp System in New Jersey will experience changes in 2020
Previously in 2019, the State Senate in New Jersey approved a series of adjustments to the supplemental benefits for some types of injured workers. These are workers receiving compaensation within the workers compensation system. As a result of these changes, insurance carriers anticipate increased costs to cover injured workers throughout the state. Because of these changes, New Jersey Workers Comp Rates in 2020 may be the same or more compared to previous years.
In September of 2019, The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance requested a 3.8% decrease in overall premium effective January 1, 2020. At the moment, this is just a recommendation. If approved, this work mark the 4th consecutive year of declining rates within the state of New Jersey. The recommended decarease is based upon several years of declining claims throughout the state and an annual review of classification relativity. This is good news, because since 1997 the amount paid out for Temporary Disability and Total Disability has nearly doubled ($496 max /$132 min in ’97 and $945 max/$252 min in 2020). Experiencing a few ears of better claims frequency is certainly good news compared to these increases over the past two decades.
This is good news, but business owners should plan for an increase in the years ahead. Increases or moderate declines may be coming because at the current time, the amount paid out for Total Permanent Disability (70% of wages) is now at a maximum rate of $945.00 and a minimum rate of $35.00 per week. The amount paid for Temporary Disability (70% of wages) is now set at a maximum rate of $945.00 per week and a minimum rate of $252.00 per week. The maximum duration a person can be on temporary disability is currently at 400 weeks. Death benefits are again at 70% of wages with a maximum rate of $945.00 and a 450 weeks plus the spouse’s statutory benefits. An allowance for funeral is now capped at $3,500.00.
Next year, Oregon Businesses will Experience the 7th Consecutive Year of Decreasing Rates
Beginning the Oregon businesses will be enjoying an average rate cut of 8.4 percent. This is in addition to a decline of 9.7 percent for Oregon Workers Compensation Rates in 2019. The decline over the past 7 years has added to an overal decline of 45 percent from 2013 to 2020. With these new rates, businesses will pay $1.02 per $100 of payroll. This amount is down from $1.11 in 2019.
2020 Workers Compensation Rates in Oregon are some of the lowest in the country. According to a 2018 study by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS), the average amount businesses in Oregon pay for Workers Compensation Premium is ranked 46 out of 50 states. Cameron Smith, the Director of The DCBS said, “The steady decline in workers’ compensation costs is about more than just the numbers. It demonstrates the hard work of employers, workers, insurers, and government to maintain essential worker protection programs and robust benefits for injured workers while keeping business costs low.”
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Workers Comp Premium In Florida will be cheaper in 2020
In 2020, Workers Compensation Rates are going to be 7.5 percent less compared to Florida Workers Comp Rates 2019. This represents the third consecutive year of declining workers compensation insurance premium. This is a larger decrease compared to the recommended decrease of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). According to officials with NCCI, the decrease is due to improving technology, safer workplaces, better risk management, and a long-term shift from manufacturing to service sectors.
Florida Workers Compensation Rates Volatility
Volatility has been constant in the workers compensaiton market for the past five years. Fortunately, Florida Workers Comp Rates in 2020 are moving in a positive direction. The uneasiness within the workers comp market really began in 2016. 2016 is when the Florida Supreme Court made two rulings that impacted the workers compensation system. Those two court cases were Castellanos vs. Next Door Company and Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg. Additionally, the state legislature in Florida also passed Senate Bill 1402.
Castellanos vs. Next Door Company
Castellanos vs. Next Door Company was a court case that overruled a previous 2009 decision. The 2009 decision limited the amount a judge could award for attorneys fees in workers compensation lawsuits. Because of these limitations, most of the amount awarded went to legal fees. After the Castellanos vs. Next Door Company Ruling, judges merely had to use the previous fee schedule as a recommendation, but depending on the situations surrounding each case they could award more or less for attorney’s fees. This court case accounted for 10.1 percent of the average statewide increase.
Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg
Westphal vs. City of St. Petersburg was a court case that dealt with the 104-week statutory limitation on temporary total disability benefits. This ruling made the statutory time period unconstitutional. The ruling extended this time period to 260 weeks. Because of the additional 156 weeks, insurance carriers expect to pay out significantly more for these types of claims. This court case accounted for 2.2 percent of the entire increase in 2017.
Senate Bill 1402
The final issue that caused workers comp rates to rise in 2017 was Senate Bill 1402. This was related to updates within the Florida Workers’ Compensation HCPR Manual. This bill accounted for the final 1.8 percent increase on premium for workers’ compensation in 2017.