(The Center Square) — Delaware employers will pay less for workers’ compensation next year, with the state’s top insurance regulator announcing another round of cuts.
Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro announced on Wednesday that overall workers’ compensation insurance rates will decrease for the seventh year in a row. The new rates feature a nearly 14% average decrease in the residual market and a 10% decrease in the voluntary market, Navarro said.
It’s the seventh consecutive rate increase for the annual insurance payments, which private employers pay to fund the state’s workers’ compensation system.
Navarro boasted that the state’s employers haven’t seen a worker’s compensation rate increase since he was elected in 2016 and said they “deserve it.”
“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,” he said in a statement. “Most importantly, businesses are doing their part by committing to reducing risk through employee protections and creating safe work environments.”
Navarro attributed this year’s decrease to the “reversal of voluntary and residual market trends” and “substantial improvement” in insurance coverage affordability and employee safety.
“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,” he said.
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. Navarro’s office said lower premiums don’t change the compensation an injured employee receives.
He said the rates must still be finalized by the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau filing by independent actuaries, a public hearing and a review by the state’s Ratepayer Advocate. The actual savings will vary by policy, Navarro said.
Navarro said more than 1,100 employers save $6.9 million on their workers’ compensation premiums by participating in the department’s Workplace Safety Program.
Eligible businesses can earn up to a 19% discount on their premiums by agreeing to yearly safety inspections and complying with any recommendations.