TOMMY G. THOMPSON
State of Wisconsin
TOMMY G. THOMPSON
For Immediate Release August 26, 1998
Contact: Kevin Keane (608) 266-8110
WORKERS COMP RATES DOWN 4.1 PERCENT
Rates have decreased by 26% in last five years
Wausau - Gov. Tommy G. Thompson announced today that worker's compensation is an even better bargain for Wisconsins employers, workers, and consumers as rates will decrease by an average of 4.1 percent in the next year
Gov. Thompson said the new rate will translate to about $44 million in annual insurance premiums savings. The governor said workers compensation premium costs have gone down in four of the last five years, a cumulative reduction of 26 percent - resulting in almost $1 billion in savings.
"Lower workers comp premiums are a real boost for continued strong economic growth," Gov. Thompson said. "Thats good news for employers, workers, and consumers. And its a sign of the strong partnership between our workers and employers. Together, theyre creating safe and efficient workplaces."
The governor explained that lower premiums can reduce the price of consumer goods and make Wisconsin products more competitive in the marketplace. "No wonder Wisconsins job growth is the envy of the nation," the governor added.
Wisconsinhas one of the lowest average premium rates among the 50 states and the District ofColumbia according to a recent report of the State of Oregon's Department of Consumer andBusiness Services.
The governor made his announcement at Wausau Insurance Companies headquarters. The insurer was the first to write a workers compensation policy when Wisconsin became the first state to enact a workers compensation program in May 1911. That first policyholder was Wausau-Mosinee Paper Corporation. Both are major employers in Marathon County.
"The partnership formed in 1911 between these two companies thrives to this day, enabling them to become major contributors to the Wausau area's economic success and a model for Wisconsin and the entire country," Gov. Thompson said.
Gov. Thompson attributed Wisconsins low rates to:
- Strong public and private efforts to fight fraud;
- More sophisticated safety and loss control programs;
- Increased employer use of managed care, rehabilitation and return-to-work programs.
The governor also credited Wisconsins Worker's Compensation Advisory Council. The council consists of labor, management, insurance, and government representatives who work together to provide good benefits at reasonable costs with a minimum of litigation.
"The hallmarks of the Wisconsin workers compensation program include a regulatory environment that emphasizes stability in the rating structure so that businesses are better able to project their costs from year to year," explained Acting Insurance Commissioner Randy Blumer. "And most notable is the cooperative system that ensures many stakeholders are part of the decision-making process in setting rates and maintaining a viable program."
Department of Workforce Development Secretary Linda Stewart commented: "Other achievements of Wisconsins workers compensation system are a greatly improved safety record, along with affordable and stable costs, reasonable benefits, and an efficient delivery system."