UPDATE: Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rates in Delaware to Decrease for Seventh Year in a Row

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UPDATE 10/12/23: The final Workers’ Comp rates have been approved. Commissioner Navarro has announced that additional decreases have been negotiated from the initial filing:

Residual Market: Average decrease of 13.85%

Voluntary Market: Average decrease of 10.03%

The approval follows a review of the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau (DCRB) filing by independent actuaries and a public hearing with DCRB and the State’s Ratepayer Advocate.

Original Post from 10/11/23

Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro announced today that workers’ compensation insurance rates will decrease for the seventh year in a row, effective December 1st. Navarro says businesses deserve this, adding that they are doing their part by committing to reducing risk through employee protection and creating safe work environments.

Additional Information from the Delaware Department of Insurance:

Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro announced today that workers’ compensation insurance rates will decrease for the seventh year in a row, effective December 1, 2023. The voluntary market is expected to decrease 7.24%, while the residual market will see a reduction of 11.18%.

“From the start of my administration to today, Delaware’s local businesses have never seen a worker’s compensation rate increase. We started with some of the highest costs in the country, and endured a pandemic, yet our reforms are still proving themselves to be effective. Most importantly, businesses are doing their part by committing to reducing risk through employee protections and creating safe work environments,” said Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro. “I’m proud to announce yet another decrease, Delaware businesses deserve it.”

This year’s decrease in worker’s compensation insurance rates continues the reversal of voluntary and residual market trends. With the residual market expected to see a greater rate decrease, it shows that companies who previously could only obtain coverage in this ‘last resort’ market, due to cost, high risk, or claims history, can now obtain traditional voluntary market coverage. This is the second year of this trend, which indicates substantial improvement in coverage affordability and employee safety.

Workers’ compensation insurance provides coverage when an employee is hurt on the job and can provide medical coverage as well as payments for lost wages if a person is unable to work due to their injury. Lower premiums don’t change the amount of compensation an injured employee receives.

Final rates are expected to be announced later this fall, following a confirmation of the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau (DCRB) filing by independent actuaries, and a public hearing with DCRB and the State’s Ratepayer Advocate. Actual savings will vary by policy.

These lower rates are just one component of several department efforts to help businesses. More than 1,100 employers are saving even more on their premiums by participating in the department’s Workplace Safety Program, saving approximately $6.9 million last year. Eligible businesses can earn up to a 19% discount on their insurance by successfully undergoing annual safety inspections and complying with recommendations. Importantly, employees may also benefit directly from employer-based safety goals – for example, a workplace may offer bonuses if there are no injuries in a given timeframe and pass on the savings to workers.

Businesses eligible for the Workplace Safety Program are notified each year seven months prior to their renewal date. Organizations interested in participating can access questionnaires online and contact safety@delaware.gov to begin the process. The department has updated the Inspection Fee Schedule for program participants, as indicated on the questionnaire. Workplace Safety Program inspectors are independent safety professionals contracted by the department, not state employees or OSHA. Only benefits can be gained by participating; failure to qualify cannot be the basis for premium increases or sanctions imposed by other safety officials.


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