Workers’ compensation insurance for Delaware businesses will drop for the fourth year in a row, this time an average 11.56 percent.
The Delaware Department of Insurance says the rate drop can largely be credited to fewer claims because of safety programs that have been embraced by workplaces in recent years resulting in fewer injuries, and partly because many people are working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore less likely to be hurt on the job.
Lower premiums saves companies money, and those companies may be able to hire more people, raise salaries, give safety bonuses and even help keep workers employed during the current economic downtown, the department says. It’s also a point that companies looking to start businesses in Delaware pay attention to.
“This year’s reduction will help decrease business expenses as we continue to experience the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Insurance Commissioner Trini Navarro. “These lower costs can attract new companies to our state and increase employment opportunities as many organizations look to move out of major metropolitan areas.”
Last year’s decreases saved businesses more than $4 million in premiums, his office said.
Christina Haas, a senior policy advisor for the department, said the department did not have the data to compare the number of cases from year to year.
The insurance rates are set by the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau, which represents companies that sell workman’s comp insurance, but must be approved by the Department of Insurance and State’s Ratepayer Advocate. The approval process includes a review by actuaries for the parties, as well as a public hearing. Savings vary by policy.
About 1,100 state employers are enrolled in the Workplace Safety Program , which last year saved about $7.6 million in premiums. The companies can earn up to a 19% discount on their insurance by providing and maintaining a safe place to work.
The program has extended its deadline for companies to sign up. Organizations interested in participating can access questionnaires online and contact email@example.com to begin the process. Those interested are asked to note their current hours and best point of contact if these have been adjusted due to COVID-19.