Workers’ comp costs on rise
November 9, 2004
City officials are looking at rising operational costs across the board, so it didn’t come as a surprise that workers’ compensation insurance will be more expensive in 2005.
The surprise was how much.
Nearly every department is looking at a 25 percent increase in the cost, with the police department’s going up as much as 36.82 percent and the building maintenance department will face a slight 7.55 percent jump.
The council approved the first reading of the 2005 budget at its regular meeting Tuesday.
The budgeted increase in workers’ compensation premiums amounts to $22,990 from the city’s general fund.
City staff members are working with the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Share Agency to see whether they can get better rates.
Workers’ compensation insurance rates are based on what’s termed an “experience mod rate,” or EMR, which is based on job risk factors and prior claims for a three-year period.
“We had a couple of major accidents last year, but I don’t think it was anything extraordinary,” City Manager Ferree said. “I think this is just a case of costs going up.”
The city’s EMR has climbed every year for the past three years.
“We need to make lowering the mod a city goal,” Councilor Bill Johnston said. “Safety is a mentality.”