Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball postseason is in full swing! Check out the schedule and keep tabs on who’s winning here: Who’s winning?

The schedule for Major League Baseball team LA Dodgers can be seen in the link below.

target=”_blank”>http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=la 

Watch Baseball Games Online Plus Get Game Highlights & Score Updates

VEGETARIAN DAY OCTOBER 1st

Vegetarian Day is celebrated by the world, October 1. World Vegetarian Day is the annual kick-off of Vegetarian Awareness Month. Make a difference this October. Inform others about the benefits of vegetarianism. You will be helping to create a better world. Vegetarian diets have proven health benefits, save animals’ lives and help to preserve the Earth.

The benefits of this life style could also help in controlling expenses. Vegetarians choose to eat a specific way due to their own lifestyles. However, the diet has health benefits. If done properly, it may produce a better life. The costs of eating vegan should be balanced against the costs of health care and medical expenses. Medical costs, excluding the current year, rose at a rate that puts it as one of the key factors in affecting our economy.
See details at www.worldvegetarianday.org/

How Workers Comp Rates are set. Workers’ Compensation rates are changing.

How Workers Comp Rates Are Set

Workers comp rates have increased significantly over the last couple of years. Many insurance specialists say that premiums will continue to rise into the foreseeable future. Inflated medical expenses, increased claim payouts, and a higher number of fraudulent claims have forced underwriters to raise rates. There are regulating agencies that be are stating employers can expect to pay an average of 5-7% more, but some companies may see as much as a 10% increase in premiums.

In most states, as in California, the law requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance on their employees. Failure to do so, can result in fines or penalties; not to mention the inevitable liability lawsuits that are sure to come. However, with rising costs, companies are trying to find ways to keep their expenses down. Insurance portfolios are one of the first places employers look.

Knowing how workers comp rates are calculated may help you save money. If you are able to give your insurance company accurate information, then they can provide you with the best rate possible for your situation. There are also important changes and policies that you can implement within your business to lower your premium. Be sure to ask your agent if there is anything you can do to offset some of these rising insurance costs.

How Workers’ Comp Rates Are Calculated

Workers’ compensation is administered by the individual States so policies may vary slightly; however, most States use the same basic calculation formula based on information obtained from the National Council On Compensation Insurance (NCII).

There are four main factors that ultimately determine the final premium amount:

  • type of business or industry
  • number of employees
  • total annual payroll or employee salaries
  • claims history

No matter which insurance company you use, they will all begin with a “base rate”. When you first register, you will be asked to give a very detailed description of your business. This information will be used to determine your company’s job classification(s). Each classification (or type of job) will have different rates based on the level of risk associated with it. For example, an office administrator would be less likely to suffer a workplace injury than an electrician or a security guard, so the base rate would be lower.

Most States use the classifications outlined by the NCII. Their categories are created from nationwide data and by very thorough research.

So, to begin with, your premium will be decided by what job classification(s) your company falls into and what percentage of your annual payroll is allocated to each relevant classification. For example, if you operate a trucking company, your accounting department may not necessarily be placed in the same category as your drivers. There is less risk of injury sitting behind a desk than operating heavy equipment on busy roads. Of course, you would have to show proof that your clerical staff would not be engaging in the higher risk tasks of operating equipment. If your bookkeeper also works in the warehouse, then he would not qualify for the lower classification.

The next step in determining premium is based on payroll or salary. Job Classification rates are translated into a dollar amount – or “risk factor amount” – for each $100 of payroll.

For example, an electrician has a risk rate of $1.40. So, if he makes $500 per week, his weekly workers comp rate would be $7.00, which is calculated by $1.40 *5 (500/100 – for every $100 of payroll). To get a total annual amount, you would do the same math using total annual payroll; divide by $100 and multiply by the $1.40 rate used for all electricians paid within the company. This would determine the total annual rate a business would pay for employees within this job classification.

Experience Modification

When you are first insured, you will have no history, so your premiums will be determined using the base rates for your industry. However, after a few years, your claims experience will be used to adjust your premiums. This adjustment or modification (MOD) will become an important factor in how much you pay for workers’ compensation insurance. The better your claims experience (fewer claims and no costly claims) the lower your MOD will be adjusted.

Basically, once you have established some history, your insurer will compare your loss or claims record with all the other companies in the same classification. If you have lower claims costs and frequency than the average, you will pay less. However, if you have more claims or more costly claims than everyone else, your rates will be higher.

For the purpose of calculation, the average rate is given a numerical value of 1.0. This is also the MOD rate you will be given when you are first insured. If you have a good safety record, you may eventually be awarded a MOD rate of .80. This means that you will save 20% on your premium costs. On the other hand, if you have several claims, you may be given a MOD rate of 1.2, which will translate into a 20% premium increase.

Tips and Warnings

• Make sure employees are correctly classified. In California, as in many States, misclassifying workers is illegal and you could face serious consequences. Proper classification is important because it can save you money, but if you are intentionally misrepresenting your staff or business in order to obtain lower rates, you could find yourself dealing with a lawsuit if there is insufficient coverage when a claim is filed.

• Make sure to provide accurate information about your business. Again, under-reporting payroll or listing fewer employees than you actually have is fraud. When you give your insurance company correct information, you ensure that you will receive all necessary coverage at the best rate possible. Misrepresentation may save you money on premiums, but you could be facing legal issues and large penalties when the truth comes to light.

• There are several precautions and actions that you can take to keep workers comp rates lower and protect your employees form workplace injuries or illness. Establish a safety policy, set up a return to work program, and pay single visit “medical only claims” (smaller) expenses out-of-pocket. Your insurance agent should be able to offer helpful suggestions that can help improve your MOD rates so you can enjoy lower premiums.

• Your insurance professional is there to help you. However, if you are unsure about anything, consult an attorney, accountant, or a representative from the workers’ compensation board.

Workers’ Comp rates in California are rising, with some States experiencing a greater increase than others. Knowing how they are calculated and what you can do to build a healthy claims history can help you save a lot of money on insurance premiums.

>> Call (714) 973-1436 x110 for more information or a free quote

12 Cost Saving Tips For Workers’ Compensation In California

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Workers’ Compensation in California is a State mandated fact of life – if you are an employer, you must provide it. It’s the law. But, like any other type of insurance, the ultimate goal is to get the best coverage available at the lowest possible price.

Premium costs are rising significantly, and workers’ compensation insurance can be a huge expense for any company or business. While it will always be a part of your budget, there are things that you can do to reduce and/or control this cost. When it comes time to renew your policy, a good track record of fewer and smaller claims, accurate reporting, improved processes and good employee management practices can save you money and ensure that you receive the best rates. These are outlined in the following 12 cost savings tips for Workers’ Compensation in California:

  1. Make Safety A Priority. A safe work environment will reduce the risk of injuries or accidents, which means fewer claims being made on your worker’s compensation insurance. There are a few simple ways to ensure your workplace is as safe as possible:
  • Establish safety rules and make sure they are enforced.
  • Set up a safety committee and schedule regular inspections.
  • Get employees involved. Who better to point out potential hazards than the people who work in the environment on a daily basis?
  • Offer incentives to “safe” employees.
  • Ask your insurance agent to inspect your workplace and review your safety rules. They may be able to identify problem areas and offer helpful suggestions.
  • Fix minor problems before they become major issues. Most serious accidents are usually preceded by “warning” signs.
  1. Establish Emergency Plans. Set up procedures for immediate reporting of incidents, and make sure that employees understand this reporting process. By having an emergency plan in place, you can help to minimize the severity of accidents or injuries and ensure that the situation receives both prompt and proper attention.
  1. Educate And Train Employees. Provide necessary training so employees know how to do their jobs safely and are aware of company safety requirements. Offer free courses in First Aid, CPR, and other emergency response procedures. Make “refresher” seminars a condition of employment so your workers are always adequately educated and prepared.
  1. Investigate Claims. Unfortunately, false claims are more common than you would think, and they lead to higher premiums for everyone. A little investigation can protect you and your pocketbook. Make sure that the claim is real and that the injury actually happened at work. Speak to supervisors and other witnesses, verify dates, and ask to see doctor’s reports. Since standard base or minimum rates are determined by loss experience, eliminating fraud will save you – and every other business owner – a lot of money!
  1. Monitor Claims/Claims Management. Be aware of any open claims, and monitor them carefully to make sure that they are being handled properly. Communicate regularly with injured employees. This not only shows that you care about your workers, but will also help you keep track of their recovery so you know what kind of financial losses to expect. Establish a policy that requires injured employees to use specified doctors or services. Physicians who understand workers’ compensation will provide good medical care while also ensuring that the no one abuses the system.
  1. Correct Classification. The workers’ compensation program divides employees into approximately 600 different classifications. The minimum rates for each classification are based on the type of work being done and the loss experience for that particular job description. For example, a construction worker would have a different level of risk than an office administrator. There can be a significant difference in premium costs between classification codes, and one of the main reasons for higher premiums is incorrect classification. Review each employee’s position and make sure they are placed under the correct code.
  1. Establish a Return To Work Policy. Identify light duty jobs or set up a program that will get employees back to work as soon as possible. Even if they can’t fill their original position immediately, try to find something for them to do while they are recovering. This can reduce the amount of money paid out on your claim and will help to keep your premiums lower. Some insurance providers even offer discounts for companies that have a return to work policy in place, so ask about this option.
  1. Enforce A Drug Free Workplace. Statistics show that drug/alcohol abusers cost employers twice as much in workers’ compensation claims than drug-free employees. And, more claims means higher premiums. Make drug screening a requirement for any job offer and inform employees that they will have to submit to regular, random drug testing.
  1. Pay Small Claims Out-Of-Pocket. Pay the small “First Aid” type medical only expenses yourself rather than making a claim on your insurance. Things like minor injury evaluation, stitches, or a prescription for pain medication which only require one doctor’s visit, will likely be more cost effective for you to cover these expenses out-of-pocket rather than risking increased premiums.
  1. Compare Prices. Workers’ Compensation is usually purchased through the private market so prices can vary greatly. And, not all policies are created equal. Compare prices and policies to make sure that you are getting what you need without overpaying.
  1. Find The Right Insurance Broker. Most of these 12 Cost Saving Tips for Workers’ Compensation in California your insurance broker should be able to provide or assist in these processes.  Your insurance broker/agent should make sure you have access to what are important to you and your business. Does your insurance carrier offer claims management services? Will they give you safety suggestions or conduct training seminars? How quickly do they close claims? Does the broker spend time getting to know your company so they can properly identify your needs and create the best policy at the lowest possible price?
  1. Maintain Good Employer/Employee Relationships. Workers who have a good relationship with their employers are more conscientious and are less likely to make false claims. An employee should feel like they are a valuable member of a team and knows that their employer has their best interest in mind. Healthy workplace morale results in healthy employees, which can greatly reduce insurance costs.

 

Workers’ Compensation in California is a mandatory expense. But, as an employer, you can put certain things in place to help you save money and guarantee great rates.

>> Call (714) 973-1436 x110 for more information or a free quote

XL and Hays Affinity Launch Dental Professional Liability Program

Dentist offices with just a few employees or more, there is a great product that offers limits of liability to $5 million, on an occurrence or claims-made basis, with HIPAA defense coverage, disciplinary action, medical waste legal defense, medical payment coverage, defense assistance reimbursement, military leave or disability and optional practice liability. If your interested, call me.
http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2012/02/16/235662.htm

Study: Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana a Greater Threat to Teens Than Alcohol

Recent auto study by Liberty Mutual find 36 % of teens saying marijuana presents no distraction while driving. Yet in 2009 study, teens found it “very” distracting. Passengers and parents should to be aware of the dangers present in marijuana use while driving and work to be a source of information on its affects.

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