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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Worker's Compensation Rate Reduction Lowers Cost of Doing Business in Wisconsin

MADISON – The state Commissioner of Insurance has approved a 3.19% rate reduction for worker's compensation rates effective October 1, 2016 for Wisconsin employers. In addition, manufacturing as an industry group will see a reduction of 5%.

"This rate decreases is good news for employers throughout the state and provides another indication that Wisconsin is a great place to work and do business," said Governor Walker. "The overall decline reflects the commitment and investment of Wisconsin employers into the health and safety of their employees through effective risk management."

The changes to the overall worker's compensation rates were approved by the Office of Commissioner of Insurance, which were developed and submitted by the Wisconsin Compensation Ratings Bureau (WCRB). The rate decrease reflects overall rates, but not all industries may see a rate decrease in their premiums.

"Indicators like this only highlight that Wisconsin's economy is heading in the right direction under the leadership of Governor Walker," said Ray Allen, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), which oversees the state's Worker's Compensation system. "With Wisconsin having the second fastest rate of private sector job growth in May of 2016, now we can add decreasing workers compensation rates. This underscores that motto that Wisconsin is open for business."

Despite growing medical costs in workers compensation, rates have remained relatively stable. Since 2006 the average annual net premium change per year was .14%. Secretary Allen credited this to labor and management working together to create a safer work environment through collaboration, like suggesting statutory updates through the Worker's Compensation Advisory Council. In addition, the Division of Worker's Compensation works proactively with employees and employers to help reduce workplace accidents and develop strategies designed to lower injury rates, helping lower costs.

Wisconsin was the first state in the nation to have a constitutional workers compensation law in 1911. Under that law employees receive no fault workplace injury coverage while employers receive workplace injury tort protection. Insurance costs are calculated by dividing employers into classification codes according to the level of risk associated with the work they perform. If an industry has lower accident costs overall, this is reflected in lower classification rates.

Most employers in Wisconsin are required by law to have worker's compensation insurance. Customers with question about the law may contact DWD's Worker's Compensation Division by calling 608-266-1340 or visit their website at https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/wc/. Questions about the development of the rates can be directed to the Wisconsin Compensation Ratings Bureau at 262-796-4540 or online at https://www.wcrb.org/wcrb/wcrbhome.htm.

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