Tennessee Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Carter Lawrence announced workers’ compensation premiums will decline for most employers a ninth consecutive year. Lawrence approved loss cost reductions of 5.6 percent for next year. Total loss cost reductions are down nearly 60 percent since sweeping reforms were adopted in 2014.
Insurance carriers combine loss cost filings with company experience and expenses to develop full insurance rates, so most employers are expected to see rate drops again in 2022.
NFIB State Director Jim Brown said both businesses and workers are benefiting greatly from the overhauled system. One NFIB member in West Tennessee recently shared their company’s premiums have dropped from $215,000 pre-reform to $67,000 today.
In addition, in a recent report, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation reports an increase in mediations and a decrease in trials. Injured workers are getting their benefits quicker and return to work statistics are showing improvement, as well.
NFIB advocated for the reforms in 2014 that have led to the less contentious, more efficient system. Long gone are the days when attorneys had races to the courthouse through an antiquated hybrid system that was replaced by today’s well-regarded administrative review process. The improved causation/injury definition also has helped reduce rates, along with several other reforms.
“Many NFIB members spoke up a decade ago about the need for our workers’ comp system to be fixed,” Brown said. “Lawmakers listened, approved the reforms in a bipartisan fashion, and employers and employees today are seeing the benefits.
“Tennessee has a model workers’ comp system that is leading to in-state businesses investing more and out-of-state businesses to relocate here. We’ll continue to work with policy-makers to make improvements to workers’ comp in the years ahead.”
State statistics also show an overall improvement in workplace safety since 2010; incidence rates of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses have gradually declined the last decade, for instance. NFIB encourages our members to use available TOSHA resources to assist with compliance to include consultative services to ensure their workplaces are as safe as possible.