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Revised WC loss costs take effect in October

The New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board submitted an application for an overall loss cost decrease of 1% to the New York State Department of Financial Services in May. DFS approved the application as requested, and the decrease goes into effect Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020.

There is no change in the loss costs for terrorism; the loss costs for natural disasters and catastrophic industrial accidents; and the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund surcharge (remaining at 0%). However, the United States Longshore and Harbor Workers Coverage percentage will change from 78.8% to 74.8%. The table of loss elimination ratios has been revised, which can be used to determine deductible credit amounts.

Individual classifications

Although the average change in classification loss costs is -1%, changes to individual classification loss costs can vary significantly. The NYCIRB released Bulletin 2520, which contains the new loss costs by classification and a comparison by classification between the new loss costs and the 2019 loss costs. For example, Confection Machinery Mfg. (Code 3559) will jump 20.1%, while Tree Pruning, Repairing or Trimming (Code 0106) will drop 19.7%.

Loss cost multipliers

NYCIRB only publishes the loss costs. Insurers applying their individually approved loss cost multipliers develop the final rates. The multiplier reflects the insurer’s anticipated profit and expenses unrelated to loss adjustment. Additionally, each carrier must determine and file its own expense constants, minimum premiums for each employment classification, the maximum/minimum premium and tables of premium discounts.

Currently, insurers that have loss cost multipliers approved by DFS do not have to refile them in order to utilize the upcoming loss costs. Each insurer’s current multiplier can be viewed here.

Assessments

The 2013 Business Relief Act simplified the billing and collection of assessments. Since Nov. 1, 2013, the NYCIRB must publish an annual assessment rate as a percentage of premiums to be used by all payers beginning Jan. 1 of the upcoming calendar year. All statutory assessments are combined into this single assessment, except for the so-called self-insurers’ assessment. The current assessment charge of 12.2% is applicable through Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020.

Benefits

The weekly maximum wage benefit increased from $934.11 to $966.78, effective July 1, 2020. This benefit amount is set at two-thirds of the New York State Average Weekly Wage, calculated for 2019 and reported by the Department of Labor on March 31, 2020, to be $1,450.17.

Rating elements

The maximum average weekly remuneration for executive officers, sole proprietors and partners will increase from $2,200 to $2,275. The maximum remuneration for nonexecutive officers will increase from $5,875 to $6,100. The minimum remuneration amount will increase from $725 to $750 for executive officers, sole proprietors and partners, but will remain the same for not-for-profit executive officers at $375.

Payroll limitation program

The payroll cap under the New York Workers’ Compensation Construction Employment Payroll Limitation Program increased from $1,401.17 to $1,450.17 per week for policies with effective dates on and after July 1, 2020. According to provisions in the 2007 Workers Compensation Reform Act, this limit is adjusted every year based upon changes in the average weekly wage as calculated by the DOL. The differential remains at 0% for all three territories.

Experience Rating Plan

The formula to determine the experience modification factor includes entries for “primary” actual and expected losses and “excess” actual and expected losses. Primary and excess losses are separated at a “split point.” Effective Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, the “split point” will change from $17,000 to $17,500. This means that a few more claims will cross the primary loss threshold and impact the experience rating modification. Additionally, rating values for use with the New York Experience Rating Plan have been revised, as provided in Bulletin 2521.

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