Crown Point moving toward self-insured worker’s comp for city employees
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent December 24, 2012 11:16AM
Updated: December 24, 2012 11:38AM
CROWN POINT — Officials have taken steps to move the city toward a partially self-insured worker’s compensation program in a measure expected to save more than $150,000 a year in premiums.
City Council members on Dec. 20 approved changing to a partial self-insurance plan instead of the traditional worker’s compensation coverage. The annual premium for the traditional coverage is $247,000 a year, Mayor David Uran said.
Under the new plan, the city will pay $87,000 a year for coverage with a $250,000 deductible. For the past four years the city has averaged between $35,000 and $39,000 in worker’s compensation claims.
If the trend continues, the city stands to save about $125,000 in the first year.
Uran said premiums are based on a five-year trend of claims and traditionally the city’s claims are low. In 2008 a crash involving an uninsured suspect who rammed a squad car causing significant injuries to the officer was a high year with claims exceeding $450,000. That will drop off the trend for 2014, reducing rates.
To prepare for the possibility of another high claims year the city will allocate the $279,000 budgeted for worker’s compensation to pay for the premium and begin funding the claims pool.
“We feel this is the right way to go for the long-term sustainability of that fund,” Uran said.
Keith Stevens, the mayor’s chief of staff, said the city’s new safety protocols for each department and a return to work plan that brings employees back to work in light duty jobs throughout the city if they are not able to return to their regular duty position has helped reduce overall worker’s compensation claims significantly. Once the 2008 claim drops off, he expects the annual premium to go down as well.
“The reason we are able to get such a good rate is our return to work policy,” Stevens said. The average rating for worker’s compensation insurance is 0.1. Anything above that is considered higher risk, anything below is a lower risk. The city’s rating is 0.089.