Workers’ comp costs on rise | CraigDailyPress.com

Workers’ comp costs on rise

Christina M. Currie

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.

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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.”

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