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.
Controlling insurance costs is vital to staying profitable and often times, staying in business. An important way business owners can control their insurance costs is by controlling their Experience Modification or X-MOD. An X-MOD is a benchmark of an individual employer against others in its industry, based on that employer's historical claim experience. This comparison is expressed as a percentage which is applied to an employer's workers' compensation premium.
The premium impact of a credit X-MOD (less than 1) vs a debit X-MOD (more than 1) can be significant. Business owners budget around their insurance costs. When there are unforeseen changes to their insurance costs it can have a dramatic effect. While it is rare, there are situations when an X-MOD can change in the middle of a policy term. Below are six circumstances when this could happen:
- If a claim that has been used in an X-MOD calculation is subsequently reported as closed mid policy term AND closed for less than 60% of the aggregate of the highest value, then the X-MOD is eligible for recalculation.
- In cases where loss values are included or excluded through mistake other than error of judgement. Basically, this rule takes into consideration the element of human error.
- Where a claim is determined non-compensable. Meaning the injury was determined to be non-work related.
- Where the insurance company has received a subrogation recovery or a portion of the claim cost is declared fraudulent.
- Where a closed death claim has been compromised over the sole issue of applicability of the workers’ compensation laws of California. Basically, if a person passes away at work but it was determined that the person had a pre-existing condition which caused the death, not work itself.
- Where a claim has been determined to be a joint coverage claim. This occurs mainly with cumulative trauma claims where there was no specific incident that caused an injury, but an injury that developed over time (i.e., wear and tear).
If any of the circumstances above have occurred, than a revised reporting shall be filed with the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) and it shall be used to adjust the current and two immediately preceding experience ratings.
If you would like to discuss this topic in further detail, and learn how Rancho Mesa Insurance can audit your X-MOD worksheet for potential recalculations, please contact us at (619) 937-0164.