Revised WC loss costs take effect Oct. 1, 2021

August 5, 2021

In May, an application for an overall loss cost decrease of 6.4% was submitted to the New York State Department of Financial Services by the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board. The DFS approved the application as requested with an effective date of Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.

There is no change in deductible premium credits or the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund surcharge, which remains at 0%. However, the U.S. Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Coverage percentage is changed from 74.8 to 75.1.

Individual classifications

Although the average change in classification loss costs is -6.4%, changes to individual classification loss costs can vary significantly. The NYCIRB has released Bulletin 2543, which contains the new loss costs by classification, and a comparison by classification between the new loss costs and the 2020 loss costs. For example, Automobile Sales or Service Agency–All Operations & Drivers (Code 8391) jumps 18.4%, while Automatic Screw Machine Products Manufacturing (Code 3145) drops 28.1%.

Terrorism and catastrophe

The loss costs for terrorism decrease from $0.045 per $100 of payroll to $0.03, and the loss costs for natural disasters and catastrophic industrial accidents decreases from $0.008 per $100 of payroll to $0.005.

Loss cost multipliers

The NYCIRB publishes only the loss costs and the final rates must be developed by insurers applying their individually approved loss cost multiplier. The multiplier reflects the insurer’s anticipated profit and expenses unrelated to loss adjustment. In addition, 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.

Insurers that have loss cost multipliers currently approved by the DFS do not have to refile them in order to utilize the Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, loss costs. Each insurer’s current multiplier can be viewed here.

Assessments

The 2013 Business Relief Act simplified the billing and collection of assessments. By Nov. 1, 2013—and every year thereafter—the NYCIRB will publish an assessment rate as a percentage of premium to be used by all payers beginning Jan. 1 of the upcoming calendar year. All statutory assessments will be combined into this single assessment, except for the so-called self-insurers’ assessment. The current assessment charge of 11.8% is applicable through Friday, Dec. 31, 2021.

Benefits

The weekly maximum wage benefit increases from $966.78 to $1,063.05, effective July 1, 2021. This benefit amount is set at two-thirds of the New York State Average Weekly Wage, calculated for 2020 and reported by the New York State Department of Labor on March 31, 2021, to be $1,594.57.

Rating elements

The maximum average weekly remuneration for executive officers, sole proprietors and partners increases from $2,275 to $2,450. The maximum remuneration for nonexecutive officers increases from $6,100 to $6,500. The minimum remuneration amount increases from $750 to $825 for executive officers, sole proprietors and partners, and increases from $375 to $400 for not-for-profit executive officers.

Payroll limitation program

The payroll cap under the New York Workers’ Compensation Construction Employment Payroll Limitation Program increased from $1,450.17 to $1,594.57 per week for policies with effective dates on and after July 1, 2021. According to provisions in the 2007 Workers’ Compensation Reform Act, this limit is adjusted every year based on 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 Oct. 1, 2019, the split point changed from $17,500 to $18,000. This means that a few more claims will cross the primary loss threshold and impact the experience rating modification. In addition, rating values for use with the New York Experience Rating Plan are revised, as provided in Bulletin 2544.

About the author…

Dan Corbin, CPCU, CIC, LUTC

Dan Corbin joined the PIA team in 1992 and is the association’s director of research. His insurance background spans 45 years, with varied experience as agency owner, commercial service representative, producer, personal-lines manager and insurance specialist for a mortgage lender. Each year, he responds to approximately 800 technical inquiries from members. Dan is a member of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Society and the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors. On Jan. 1, 2021, he became a contracted provider of membership services.

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