Come Oct. 1, Wisconsin contractors and other employers will see their worker’s compensation rates fall for a fourth year in a row.
The state Office of the Commissioner of Insurance reported on Tuesday that the rates will decrease by 8.84% on average, a change expected to save employers $170 million in 2020. Contractors specifically can look forward to an even bigger break: their rates are expected to go down by 11.21%, the most among any industry group. Office and clerical employers are expected to see a reduction of 8.75%, good and services employers of 8.66% and manufacturing and miscellaneous groups of 8.11%.
All companies in Wisconsin are required to pay premiums to provide worker’s comp insurance to their employees. The rates are set by actuaries at the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau, who take into account annual accident rates in individual industries, and then approved by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.
“The frequency of workplace injuries has been trending downward, which is a major driver of the rate reductions,” said Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance Mark Afable in a statement. “This is definitely good news for Wisconsin businesses and workers.”
But even with the fairly big increase expected for contractors, not all companies will necessarily see their individual rates decline. Companies in especially dangerous parts of a particular industry — for example the roofing segment of the construction industry — will generally pay higher premiums than others. And individual companies with poor safety records — no matter what part of the industry they are in — will pay more.
The expected average decrease of 8.84% for all companies comes on the heels of three other years in which rates fell, going down by 6.03% in 2018, 8.46% in 2017 and 3.19% in 2016.