Workers Compensation

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.

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.  

CIGA is “Back in Black” - Employers will receive 2% savings on 2019 workers' comp premium

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

For the first time in 20 years, the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) will not collect its annual assessment. As a result, California employers in the guaranteed cost workers' compensation insurance market will save 2% on their premium in 2019.

Employers Beware! Ten Red Flags You May Have a Fraudulent Workers’ Comp Claim

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

Workers’ Compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee's right to sue their employer for the tort of negligence. 

The Changing Definition of Employee: What you need to know about SB 189

Author, Yvonne Gallagher, Landscape Division Account Manager, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

California State Capital Building.

State Bill 189 (SB 189) (Bradford) was recently enacted by the California State Legislature. It is intended to correct issues resulting from the passage of Assembly Bill 2883 (AB 2883) (Daly et. al) in 2017, which changed the requirements for business owners to exclude themselves from workers' compensation coverage.

How To Lower Your Experience MOD by Understanding Your Primary Threshold

Author, Drew Garcia, NALP Program Director, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc. 

The Experience Modifier (i.e., experience MOD, MOD, XMOD, experience modification rating, EMR) weighs heavy on the calculation of your workers' compensation premium. With a MOD rating of 1.00 signifying unity  (i.e., the average for your industry), any MOD above 1.00 is considered adverse. Thus, any MOD below 1.00 is considered better than average. Higher MODs will debit the premium, resulting in higher workers' compensation premiums, while lower MODs will credit the premium, resulting in lower workers' compensation premiums.

3 Practical Reasons for Timely Claims Reporting

Author, Jim Malone, Claims Advocate, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

When a work-related accident occurs, as a business owner or manager, it is our nature to want to analyze the situation in order to learn how to avoid it in the future. However, the reporting of the incident is equally as important. With the recent requirement to report first aid claims, timely reporting for all claims is recognized as being critical for a number of reasons. 

Experience Modification Factors and the Pre-Qualification Process

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

As we enter 2018, government agencies, project owners and general contractors often require subcontractors to enter their pre-qualification process.  Many of these entities will look closely at your Experience Modification Rate (EMR).

California Workers Compensation 2018 Annual Officer Payrolls Minimums and Maximums, Assessment Rates, and Dual Wage Thresholds Announced by WCIRB

ICW Group Insurance Company, the largest group of privately held insurance companies domiciled in California, recently released an announcement that outlines the details and is attached for your review.

OSHA Announces Top 10 Cited Violations for FY 2017

Author, Sam Clayton, Vice President, Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its preliminary top 10 citation list for fiscal year 2017 at the annual National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo, held in late September 2017.

3 Steps to Protect Your Employees from San Diego’s Recent Hepatitis A Outbreak

Author, Alyssa Burley, Client Services Coordinator, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Whether you work in the human services sector like healthcare, community outreach, or schools, or you are in the construction industry working in areas like downtown San Diego, your employees may come in contact with the Hepatitis A virus. 

Workers' Compensation Dual Wage Thresholds Increases for Construction Classes in 2018

Author David J. Garcia, C.R.I.S., A.A.I., President Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

In an effort to keep you informed, so that you can begin to plan your 2018 budget, we wanted to let you know of a potential change in the dual wage classes, for many but not all, the dual wage construction class codes.

3 Topics to Discuss with Vendors, Independent Contractors, and Partner Agencies Prior to Working Together

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

Recently, a non-profit client of mine asked the question: What are the steps I should take with vendors, contracted professionals and partner agencies to make sure my organization is protected should a claim arise as a result of their work?  This is a common exposure to many of our clients, and there are several steps that can be taken to protect your business.

5 Steps to Avoiding Workers’ Compensation Claim Litigation

Author, Jeremy Hoolihan, CRIS, Janitorial Group Leader, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Workers’ Compensation claims can cost a company time, money, employee productivity, and morale. Litigation is one of the most costly results of a workers’ compensation claim. Once an employee hires an attorney, the time and money it takes for the claim to close drastically increases.

DHS Alerts OSHA of Possible Electronic Reporting Security Breach

Author, Alyssa Burley, Client Services Coordinator, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

On August 1, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched its online electronic data filing application.  It was designed to collect and publish injury data on companies throughout the United States in order to comply with a new requirement.

Congratulations, You’ve Won the Construction Contract – Now, you Need USL&H

Author, Kevin Howard, CRIS, Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Construction Group

If the title of this article gave you a good chuckle, you most likely have bid a job somewhere near a body of water; then, found out you need U.S. Longshore and Harbor (USL&H) Workers’ Compensation coverage.  You were surely not the first one to overlook this requirement and you definitely will not be the last.

Control your Experience MOD through the MOD Doctor Process.

Author, Drew Garcia, NALP Program Director, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Successfully maintaining low and predictable workers' compensation costs is a product of establishing a routine that constantly “checks and balances” your all-encompassing insurance program. Our "MOD Doctor" technique lays out a road map so we can guide you throughout the year to gain more control, become more efficient, and ultimately drive down your insurance cost; at no extra expense. What can you expect from this process?

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Coverage - Are Your Limits Adequate? - Be Careful!

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

Earlier in the year, we published the article "Commercial Auto Premiums Are Rising - What’s Driving the Increases?," which addresses how insurance companies are all experiencing adverse loss experience within their commercial automobile books of business. The result of these mounting losses is causing a dramatic rise in commercial Auto premiums for most policyholders.

Timely Claim Reporting Lowers Work Comp Claims Costs and Improves Your Bottom Line

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

Studies have shown, by reporting your workers compensation claims in a timely basis, not only will your injured employee receive better medical treatment, it will boost company morale.  Both the injured worker, as well as other employees, will see your sincere concern for their wellbeing.  In addition, timely reporting practices will also improve your risk profile through reducing the overall cost of the claim, which leads to lower loss ratios and lower experience modifiers, thus, resulting in lower premiums and improvement in your bottom line.

What is SB 562 all about?

It may be of interest, if not importance, for all Californians to know about current proposed legislation, sponsored by Senator Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens and Senator Toni Atkins of San Diego.  The proposed bill would significantly expand the role of the state government within the healthcare system, by essentially establishing a single-payer system.