Insurance premiums expected to decrease again in 2013

Michigan workers compensation lawyer talks about the drop in premiums and why this is not necessarily good news.

LARA Director Steven H. Hilfinger has announced that the pure premium advisory rates for workers compensation insurance will drop by an average of 7.2% next year. This marks the second year in a row with a drop greater than 7%.

“The decline in the state’s pure premium rate for workers’ compensation is great news for Michigan employers and ultimately employees and job seekers,” Hilfinger said. “By reducing costs, we are making Michigan even more competitive in attracting and retaining business in our state.”

WCA Director Kevin Elsenheimer thinks recently enacted reforms to the workers compensation law have had a role. “Now we know that almost a third of this year’s pure premium reduction results from those changes,” Elsenheimer said.

Don’t believe the hype

Insurance companies and big corporations are constantly arguing that there is a crises in the workers compensation system. A 2011 report  from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranked Michigan as “Tier III:  Poor” with a “difficult environment for new job creation.”

The CEO of Liberty Mutual has also complained that he is “hard-pressed to come up with a state where pricing is adequate”

Michigan has experienced a two year drop in the pure premium rate of nearly 15%. This is during a period when medical costs are exploding around the country.

To argue that we need to cut workers compensation benefits even further is nothing but industry doublespeak.

Race to the bottom

Workers compensation is supposed to be a compromise between employer and employee interests. Employees gave up the right to sue in exchange for no-fault benefits.

Special interest groups and politicians have been using the same argument about protecting job creators for years. Benefits have now been cut to the point that the system is no longer providing adequate compensation.

Insurance companies can easily dispute medical treatment for anyone with a pre-existing condition. Considering that most people have some degenerative arthritis as they get older, this is causing major problems for our clients. The burden of proof has become so extreme that many people have no remedy at all.

Wage loss benefits can  also be automatically reduced  if the the insurance company thinks a person is only partially disabled and can find other work. It does not matter whether the person is actually earning real wages or not.

Fight back

It’s no secret that workers compensation reform was passed along party lines. Michigan Republicans rammed this legislation through in less than 90 days and held hearings during the week of Thanksgiving when not many people were around. It took only three months to change nearly 100 years of  law.

We are asking all of our clients to tell 10 friends and family members about their own individual challenges with workers compensation. We need to stand up and demand fair benefits from our elected representatives. This is a big election year and together we can make a difference!

To speak with one of our Michigan workers compensation lawyers, call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years.  Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to review a case.

Related information:

Michigan Businesses to Benefit from Decrease in Workers’ Compensation Rates

08/01/2012
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