Rate reduction in New Jersey
- The New Jersey Commissioner of Banking and Insurance approved a 3.9% decrease in rates and rating values applicable to workers’ compensation insurance on new and renewal policies.
- The approved rate change, effective Jan.1, 2024, is based on the latest financial and statistical data reported to the state Rating Bureau, which includes losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Also effective Jan. 1, the maximum weekly benefit for all types of injuries, except permanent partial disabilities, increases to $1,131, from $1,099, and the minimum weekly benefit rises to $302, from $293.
Man sentenced for fraud
- Ramon Paz, a Florida business owner, was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
- The court also ordered forfeiture of $500,731, the proceeds of the wire fraud conspiracy. Paz had pleaded guilty on Feb. 8, 2023.
- Paz owned and managed a construction company that purported to supply construction services and labor for construction contractors and subcontractors.
- In order to comply with Florida law, Paz’s company was required to secure and maintain adequate worker’s comp insurance coverage.
Court makes ruling on Workers’ Compensation Act and vehicles
- The New Jersey Supreme Court clarified a rule of the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act that could impact employers throughout New Jersey.
- A pest-control technician sustained injuries while traveling in a company-owned vehicle from his home to the employer’s facility to replenish his chemical supply before starting any jobs for the day.
- The court determined it is not necessary for the employer to own the vehicle in question for the accident to be compensable.
- The court also ruled the employee need not be engaged in duties expressly assigned or directed by the employer, so long as the employer authorized the duties.
NCCI: Future of workplace safety technology has uncertainty
- The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) released the second installment in its new insights series.
- A lack of awareness of available products and technologies is at the top of the list of noted obstacles to implementation; other challenges include privacy concerns, the cost of the product, and employer safety culture.
- The future of safety technology may include customizable products and combinable technologies for a more holistic approach. The providers also mentioned the expanded use of AI and a “real-time” focus.
- Musculoskeletal injuries are the primary injury target thus far.