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Montana Is Second Most Expensive State For Workers Comp

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Second Most Expensive State Is M0ntana

The Expensive State of Montana
Wikimedia Commons – Perry-Castañeda Library

I noticed that the 2nd most expensive state is Montana.  I have not posted for some time on the state funds. One article that caught my eye was on the Workers Compensation situation in the state of Montana. Montana had been off the news radar for a long time.

Please note that Montana is not a monopolistic state fund.  <<Correction

Now, Montana has been ranked as the second most expensive state for Workers Compensation in the nation. I thought that I would look at what would cause this increase in rates when compared to other states.

One main consideration for high rates is that there exists a state fund such as Montana that writes a majority of the Workers Comp policies. The State Fund writes work-comp insurance, which insures businesses against on-the-job injuries, for 68 percent of Montana companies. This is a major percentage. Montana is not what one would call an open-market system. When the market is written by a State Fund that has more than 50% of the market, the usual insurance market system is not balanced.

Graphic Dollar Expensive State Sign
StockUnlimited

Montana put the state fund’s actuary on the job to see what he could find as a reason. Only 9 percent of claims are permanent partial disability, but they account for 70 percent of overall work-comp costs, he said. The actuary said that PPDs in Montana occur at a rate 50 percent higher than the average in other states and that medical costs for such claims are twice as much as other states. If the number of PPD claims and their medical costs in Montana were at national averages, work-comp rates would be 30 percent lower, and Montana would fall to 20th-highest in the nation.

We shall see whether changing the PPD laws will have any effect. I think changing the Workers Comp market dynamics would help greatly.

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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