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2019 WC overall rate level decreases 5.3 percent

The New Jersey Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau received approval from the Department of Banking and Insurance for a rate revision of -5.3 percent to become effective Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, applicable to new and renewal policies. The NJCRIB distributed Circular Letter No. 1953 detailing this rate revision, along with other changes presented in Manual Amendment Bulletins No. 484 and No. 485.

Rate level. The cumulative effect of all filed rating element changes results in a final collectible premium level reduction of 5.3 percent from the 2018 level. However, most individual classification rates will change based on the latest data reported in accordance with the Statistical Plan. The classification rates are published in Circular Letter No. 1953.

The elements included in the cumulative overall rate level are upward adjustments of 0.8 percent for benefit changes and 1.5 percent for the loss adjustment expense, general expense, production expense, security fund, and the rating bureau expense. Countering these is a downward adjustment of 5 percent for loss experience and 2.6 percent for a trend factor.

There is no change in the $0.03 per unit of exposure Foreign Terrorism Risk Premium Charge and the $0.01 per unit of exposure Domestic Terrorism, Earthquakes and Catastrophic Industrial Accidents Premium Charge.

Classification relativities. The year 2019 begins with a total of 564 classifications, including maritime and federal employments. Eight of these do not carry a rate assignment and another 10 of the rated classifications are left unchanged. Of those classifications remaining, 176 undergo increases and 370 undergo decreases. There is no change in rates for private estate or residence employees.

Policy surcharges. There is an upward adjustment of the Second Injury Fund surcharge from 5.15 percent to 5.48 percent and the Uninsured Employers Fund surcharge drops to 0 percent from 0.12 percent.

Expense constant. The expense constant remains at $160 for all classifications, including residence employees.

Minimum premium. The minimum premium multiplier increases from 170 to 180, but the maximum premium remains at $950.

Maximum/minimum payroll. The maximum weekly payroll to be used for active executive officers, individual proprietors, partners and LLC members changes from $2,570 to $2,590, and the minimum weekly payroll changes from $640 to $650. Also, the minimum yearly payroll for a member of a board of education changes from $6,600 to $6,760 and the minimum for other appointed or elected officers changes from $1,330 to $1,350.

Benefits. The maximum weekly disability benefit is increased from $903 to $921 and the minimum benefit is increased from $241 to $246. In the case of permanent partial disabilities, the range of maximum benefit will be from $246 to $921, with no change in the minimum weekly benefit of $35.

PPAP factor. The Plan Premium Adjustment Program minimum factor is applied to standard premium in order to reflect the risks inherent in the residual market. This factor remains at 20 percent.

Schedule Rating Plan. The schedule rating credit and debit maximum remains at 25 percent.

Classifications. Payroll amounts have been revised in the footnotes of pertinent class codes.

Other changes. Included with the NJCRIB filing are changes to experience-rating factors/tables and retrospective rating values.