Workers’ Compensation Options that Can Significantly Impact Your Bottom Line

For Washington State Employers

Double click for larger view

Contact The Partners Group to see how we can help you.

Jordan Stair and Paul Vlcek, Account Executives with The Partners Group Commercial Insurance Division, provide four options for purchasing workers’ compensation for Washington employers. They focus on group retro, which can be a cost-saving opportunity for employers in Washington State.

Washington is a Monopolistic State

Washington State is unique as it is one of the few monopolistic states still remaining throughout the country, meaning the state itself is the only provider of workers’ compensation coverage. Stair stated “oftentimes employers feel they have limited available options, when in fact that cannot be further from the truth.”

Four Options for Purchasing Workers’ Comp in Washington

Option 1: Buy directly from L&I – Labor & Industries

  • Employers buying directly from L&I is the most common.

Option 2: Group Retro

  • “Retrospective Rating (Retro) is a safety incentive program offered by L&I. In Retro you can earn a partial refund of your workers’ compensation premiums if you reduce workplace injuries and lower associated claim costs. Any employer with an industrial insurance account in good standing can participate,” as stated on the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries website.
  • According to Vlcek, “group retros are the most cost-saving opportunity at that level, which is why it is the focus of this article.”

Option 3: Individual Retro

Option 4: Self-Insurance

  • Depending on the size of the company, self insurance could be an option if the company qualifies.

Group Retros

With group retros, most employers participate based on the association they’re in, when in fact they probably could qualify for anywhere from 5 to 15 different retro groups.

Every retro group has a significant difference in both cost and resources. These factors can include:

  • What’s the overall risk factor of that retro group?
  • What’s the overall group’s profitability?
  • What’s the size of the group you’re participating in?
  • What are the administration and membership dues?

All these things play a factor in the premiums you’re paying on an annual basis. What we’ve seen is that through the proper feasibility analysis, employers could actually reduce costs up to 40% by being placed in the appropriate group. Also, admin cost can be in addition to the membership fees on an annual basis.

Your retro group provider can be a great resource for providing advice on how to handle a claim that involves lost time. A lost time claim is a claim that can be made under a workers’ compensation insurance policy when a covered employee remains absent from work for more than eight working days due to a serious occupational disease or work related injury. A lost time claim has a factor of almost five times higher than what is actually paid out, versus a medical-only claim which has a factor of about 1.5. If you can stay away from those paid time losses or handle those out of pocket costs, you can potentially save a lot of money in the long run.

What’s the takeaway today?

  • Your broker needs to play a role in helping you evaluate your workers’ compensation program on an annual basis. Contact your broker today, or the Commercial Insurance division at The Partners Group for your evaluation.
  • Consider all of the options available in the State of Washington and discuss further with your broker to decide which is best for the company. There are options you may not be aware of that can have a significant impact on your overall cost.
Contact The Partners Group to see how we can help you.

About the Presenters:

Jordan Stair and Paul Vlcek are both Account Executives with The Partners Group Commercial Insurance Division.

jstair       Paul Vlcek, Commercial Insurance Account Executive

The Commercial Insurance Division of The Partners Group caters to the unique needs of our clients, with the wide variety of services we offer along with the fully integrated options we bring to help address risk management issues. Our people also distinguish us with their unusual ability to connect on a personal level, while focusing on a problem-solving approach. | Email | 800-722-6339

VIDEO: Learn About Three Cyber Risk Quick Tips that Usually Aren’t Mentioned

Quick Tip Video on Getting Better Rates and Programs by Creating Transparency in the Insurance Purchasing Process

VIDEO & ARTICLE: State of Insurance Marketplace – Tips to help you prepare for the 2016 market cycle

VIDEO: Be More Cost Effective by Pro-Actively Protecting Your Bottom Line

Quick Tip Video on Getting Better Rates and Programs by Creating Transparency in the Insurance Purchasing Process

VIDEO: Getting Better Rates and Programs by Creating Transparency in the Insurance Purchasing Process

Tune in to get more quick tips from the Commercial Insurance Division! For more tips, please subscribe.


Employee Benefits

The Employee Benefits Division of The Partners Group serves the employee benefit needs of over 500 West Coast employers, with offices in Portland, Lake Oswego, and Bend, OR; Bellevue, WA; and Bozeman MT. Our benefits consulting team specializes in providing a highly-consultative approach coupled with problem-solving wellness analytics, to help employers reduce healthcare costs, improve employee health, and create long-term health plan stability.

Business Consulting

The Business Consulting Division of The Partners Group is dedicated to consulting with healthcare systems and jumbo employers to manage the health and well being of their employees, families, and communities. Our focus is to provide an innovative, solution-oriented service that capitalizes on data to pinpoint potential problems. Whether it be uncovering potential sources of escalating healthcare costs, or other anomalies in data, this service provides endless, problem-solving advantages to a variety of industries.

Commercial Insurance

The Partners Group Commercial Insurance Division manages the business risks for hundreds of employers. We provide an unmatched depth and breadth in commercial insurance and risk management services combined with extraordinary people who possess an unusual ability to connect on a personal level. We work hard to understand the unique risks and exposures of your business, and identify the solutions to provide the right coverage for the right price. As an independent company The Partners Group can tailor solutions to work specifically for you, even creating new policies and programs, if that’s what you need.

Private Client Services

The Partners Group Private Client Services Division advises business owners and high income shareholder groups comprising just over 3,200 successful individuals, families and medical professionals on investment services, retirement planning, and personal insurance. We’ve been in business for over 30 years as a privately held company based in the Northwest, and we’re here to stay. Additionally, we are not tied to products and plans. We provide various platforms and a multitude of options to fit your needs, which can change over time as your life changes. When you work with TPG Private Client Services, you’re dealing with the shareholders of this firm, and we are honored to play a role your life, your family’s lives, and your next generation’s lives.