Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary
Department of Workforce Development
201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce
MADISON – Today the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance approved an overall 8.46% rate decrease for Worker's Compensation (WC) premiums for business this year following a 3.19% decline last year. Some specific industries, like manufacturing, will see even greater decreases of 9.28%. This overall decrease represents a savings of nearly $170 million for employers.
"This is the second consecutive year Worker's Compensation rates have declined in Wisconsin, reaffirming our commitment that Wisconsin is open for business," said Governor Walker. "The magnitude of savings is a result of employers working with their employees to emphasize the importance of safety in the workplace."
Worker's compensation rates are adjusted yearly by a committee of actuaries from the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau (WCRB). The committee studies the prior losses (claims) of hundreds of categories and professions throughout the state's employment pool and submits a rate recommendation to the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) who has final approval over the rates.
“Wisconsin businesses are dedicated to ensuring a safe working environment and this decrease in workers compensation rates reflects that,” said Commissioner of Insurance Ted Nickel. “These savings will allow Wisconsin businesses to continue to strengthen their ability to operate affordably and efficiently.”
Over the last 10 years, premium rates for Wisconsin have remained stable, with a 10-year average annual net premium change of -.37%. Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen credits this to businesses working with their insurance carrier and risk management teams to ensure a safe work environment and by working to bring individuals involved in a workplace injury back to work as soon as allowed.
"This is just another indicator for businesses that Wisconsin is a great place to work," said Secretary Allen. "Wisconsin is at a near record low for unemployment while having one of the highest labor force participation rates in the country. These trends show that Wisconsin has a best-in-class workforce and it is no surprise that this commitment is manifesting itself with back-to-back rate premium rate decreases."
The collaborative effort to promote safety also extends to the positive working relationship of the Worker's Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC), which is made up of representatives from management and labor. The Council recommends changes to law to ensure it keeps up with today's industries and trends.
Most employers in Wisconsin are required by law to have worker's compensation insurance. Customers with question about the law may contact DWD's Worker's Compensation Division by calling 608-266-1340 or visit their website at https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/wc/.
Questions about the development of the rates can be directed to the Wisconsin Compensation Ratings Bureau at 262-796-4540 or online at https://www.wcrb.org/wcrb/wcrbhome.htm.