Drop in claims prompts 5% cut in rates for injured worker fund

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October 30, 2007|By Hanah Cho | Hanah Cho,SUN REPORTER

The Injured Workers' Insurance Fund, a quasi-state workers' compensation insurance provider, said yesterday that more than 30,000 of its policyholders will see a 5 percent reduction on average in their standard rates next year.

IWIF customers will see a total savings of $13 million to $15 million, said Tom Phelan, the fund's president and chief executive officer. Moreover, 16 industries, including independent schools, new auto dealer franchises and printing businesses, will receive additional rate cuts.

The discounts follow a 10 percent drop in injury claims during the past two years, Phelan said.

IWIF attributes the decline to the fund's efforts to create a safer workplace. The group has created various programs to help policyholders with safety training through free seminars to companies. It also has created brochures in Spanish and targeted some of its literature to young and older employees.

"We're covering all fronts. We've worked very hard with customers and they've been very receptive to this," Phelan said.

IWIF is the largest provider of workers' compensation coverage in the state with a 31 percent market share. It has assets and reserves of $1.6 billion. The agency's budget is funded by premiums and investment income, not tax dollars.

IWIF's nine-member board of directors approved the standard rate cut Oct. 17 after an annual rate analysis conducted by actuary consultant Deloitte & Touche.

hanah.cho@baltsun.com

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