2019 Expected Loss Rates Published in California’s Updated Regulatory Filing – X-MOD Impact Inevitable for 0042 Class Code

Author, Drew Garcia, Vice President, Landscape Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The 2019 Expected Loss Rate (ELR) for Landscaping class code 0042 was recently published at a 15% decrease or $2.97.

The ELR is the factor used to anticipate a class code’s claim cost per $100 for the experience rating period. It is not to be confused with the Pure Premium Rate (PPR). The ELR differs from the PPR in that the ELR simply measures the basic claim cost for a class code without including loss adjustment expense, excess loss load (capped at $175,000 for X-MOD purposes), and loss development.

How Warranty Periods Can Impact Bonding

thor, Andy Roberts, Account Executive, Surety, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

When we review contracts that require bonding, one area that we need to understand is the warranty obligation. I would expect that over 90% of the contracts that we review for our contractor clients contain a standard one-year warranty term. Since Performance & Payment Bonds respond to the contract, the surety company is also on the hook for this one-year obligation. Premium rates for bonding already include the cost for this one-year warranty in the cost of the performance & payment bond.

Distracted Driving, Not Just an Automobile Insurance Issue, Bad News for Workers Compensation Too

Author, David J Garcia, A.A.I, CRIS, President, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

I’ve written at length on the negative effects distracted driving is having on the automobile insurance industry and its impact on the rise in accidents, claim costs, and increases to your automobile premiums. But, have you considered its effects on your Experience Modification Rate (EMR) and ultimately workers’ compensation cost?

Fleet Safety: Four Steps to Effective-Driver Selection

Author, Sam Clayton, Vice President Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Driver selection guidelines are one of the most important things a company can implement to prevent vehicle accidents. A company should manage a written Motor Vehicle Records (MVR’s) program to assure that they are selecting the right employees to drive for the company and annually qualify each driver for desirable driving records. The following are some “best practices” guidelines that will help businesses implement and improve the driver selection process.

Focus on preventing Back Injuries: Introducing Rancho Mesa’s A.B.L.E Lift Protocol and the “Field” Mobility & Stretch Program

Author, Drew Garcia, Vice President, Landscape Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services.

Physical work is demanding on our bodies. As the employer, what are you doing to help your employees prepare for the day’s work? Collectively, the most severe injuries come from the lower back by way of strain or sprain as a result of lifting. It’s not always the heavier objects causing the injuries. In many cases, early morning “light” lifts or movements can quickly cause a strain or sprain. Eliminating lifting exposures is the ultimate solution to limiting back strains; however, it is not always possible. Interactively training your employees to accurately lift material with proper technique is a preventive approach you can implement today to limit your businesses lifting exposure.

Changes in the 2019 Experience Modification Formula – Are You Ready? (Part 2)

Author, David J. Garcia, A.A.I, CRIS, President, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

As we approach 2019, there will be several changes in the experience modification formula that directly affects the calculation of an employer's 2019 Experience Modification Rate (EMR).

Part 1 of this article describes the Primary Threshold and Expected Loss Rate. Read Part 1 of this article. Part 2 provides an overview of the changes to the EMR calculation. 

Contractor Strategies to Maximize Your Bank Line of Credit

Author, Matt Gaynor, Director of Surety, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Some of my most successful bond clients opened their construction business with a good amount of working experience on their resume, but only a minimal amount of cash and capital. Unfortunately, bond companies like to see a strong amount of cash and capital. Therefore, my goal, as their bond agent, is to work with what they have at the present time to explain why they are a “good risk” now for bid, performance, and payment bonds - along with ideas on how to overcome the initial cash and capital constraints.

Changes in the 2019 Experience Modification Formula – Are You Ready? (Part 1)

Author, David J. Garcia, A.A.I, CRIS, President, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

As we approach 2019, there will be several changes in the experience modification formula that directly affects the calculation of an employer's 2019 Experience Modification Rate (EMR). Sadly, most businesses are both unaware and unprepared.

Understanding Waivers of Subrogation for Contractors

Author, Casey Craig, Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

In an era where general contractors commonly require a Waiver of Subrogation from its sub-contractors before they are allowed to step foot on the jobsite, it is important to understand how a Waiver of Subrogation functions. Most companies simply tell their agent they need the waiver added to their contract, but what does this mean? How does it affect the policy?

Differentiating Solar Industry Class Codes

Author, Kevin Howard, Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Research conducted by the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) shows that California benefits from roughly 3,000 solar contractors conducting business in the state. Panels are being installed at a rapid rate. In fact, statistics show that as of January 2018, over 5 million California homes have “gone solar” and that number continues to grow. There are other benefits to using solar panels to harvest energy besides just generating electricity. They can also be used to heat water in pools, spas, storage tanks and other plumbing systems using hot water solar panels. 

Update: 8868 Class Code Changes - Proposed WCIRB Changes Awaiting Public Hearing August 3rd

Author, Chase Hixson, Account Executive, Human Services Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

On August 3, 2018, the California Department of Insurance will hold a public hearing regarding the proposed changes to the 8868 Class Codes.

Three Reasons to Read Subcontractor Warranty Endorsements

Author, Sam Clayton, Vice President, Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Contractors General Liability Policies provide coverage for bodily injury and property damage for which the Named Insured is legally liable.  This legal liability can result from the company’s direct operations or from other subcontractors hired by the Named Insured.

Six Reasons a Company’s Experience Modification Could be Recalculated

Author, Jeremy Hoolihan, Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Workers’ Compensation costs continue to be one of the most costly expenses for business owners in California. With recent reform, California has maintained steady rate decreases in the workers’ compensation marketplace. Unfortunately California still maintains some of the highest rates in the country, often times two to three times the nations average.

Seven Tactics to Reduce Slips and Falls when Landscaping a Slope

Author, Drew Garcia, Landscape Division Leader, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Is your company taking the necessary precautions to avoid serious and costly slips and falls from slope work? Many maintenance jobs will require employees to mow, weed abate, or plant on hillside locations as a part of the properties serviceable needs. The injury exposures that come with slope related work typically result in severe injuries. Any injury of this magnitude can result in lost time away from work by that employee and possibly permanent disability.    

How to Utilize Employee Benefits for Retention in the Construction Industry

Author, Shane Medlin, Account Executive, Employee Benefits, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

As demand for all types of construction services continue to expand in California, contractors are struggling to retain and recruit enough skilled workers. About 57 percent of construction companies expect difficulty hiring salaried and craft workers to continue throughout the year. This is why retaining quality skilled talent is imperative for construction firms.

Six Proactive Steps to Prevent Heat Illness During a Scorching Summer

Author, Dave Garcia, President, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The National Weather Service has issued heat warnings for many parts of California starting today, and excessive heat warnings for some other areas. Temperatures are expected to rise to 110ºF in some parts of the Sacramento Valley, for instance. In the desert areas of Imperial and San Diego counties, they will soar as high as 114ºF.

Independent Contractor Classification Changes Expected to Impact Construction Industry

Author, David J. Garcia, AAI, CRIS, President, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

With the recent ruling by the California Supreme Court concerning how 1099 employees (independent contractors) are defined, the construction industry's approach to utilizing these workers has changed significantly. The Court adopted a new test to determine whether the worker should be classified as an employee or independent contractor. The previous test to determine if a worker was an employee or independent contractor was whether the employer had the right to direct the manner and means by which the worker performed the services.

Key Steps to Take Before, During and After an OSHA Inspection

Author, Sam Clayton, Vice President, Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

An OSHA officer can show up to your facility or worksite for any number of reasons: employee complaints, accidents, programmed inspections, sweeps, follow-up or a drive-by observation. In order to ensure a smooth inspection, we suggest you prepare before OSHA appears at your door. Here are some key steps to take before, during and after an OSHA inspection.

How a Bank Line of Credit Can Affect Your Surety Bonding

Author, Andy Roberts, Account Executive, Surety, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

When a surety carrier is evaluating a bonding program for a contractor, they use many different underwriting factors to determine an acceptable amount of bond capacity. They will consider a contractor’s working capital, net worth and work in progress schedules, to name a few. Another important factor that can help increase a contractor's bonding capacity is a bank line of credit. 

WCIRB Proposed Changes Affecting Schools and Disabled Services

Author, Chase Hixson, Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) recently announced plans to reclassify the 8868 (i.e., professors, teachers or academic professional employees) and 9101 (i.e., all employees other than professors, teachers, or academic professional employees) class codes under the belief that there is significant disparity between the businesses that currently fall under these two classifications.  These changes are planned to go into effect January 1, 2019.