New Leadership For Ohio Bureau Of Workers’ Compensation

Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation made  some recent leadership changes by appointing two new highly skilled individuals. Dale Hamilton and Kevin Abrams are two veteran workers’ compensation and insurance industry professionals whom will bring much needed change to the Ohio bureau.

Hamilton, a former head of the Bureau’s Audit Department, will be taking the role of chief operations officer. He has also served as the COO for Blue Cross, and is expected to bring his experience in internal and external auditing, as well as workers’ compensation management and administration  into the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).

In his role as the BWC chief operating officer, Hamilton will be in charge of the bureau’s Medical Services Division, Infrastructure Technology Division, the Division of Safety and Hygiene, Employer Services Division, as well as the Division of Field Operations.

Abrams also served the BWC as an assistant law director for 17 years, served recently as commissioner for the Industrial Commission of Ohio, and is also a frequent lecturer on workers’ compensation issues. He is expected to bring his experience in policy development and legal processes in the Bureau.

In his role as chief of Employer Services, Abrams will be in charge of managing policy coverage initiation and maintenance, program delivery and compliance in terms of all state fun and self insured employers in Ohio. He will be supported by several department directors in the BWC, most importantly the Underwriting and Premium Audit department, Employer Compliance, Self Insured, the Professional Employer Organizations and Employer Programs departments.

The BWC is expected to benefit greatly from the addition of the two industry experts in the development of appropriate policies and claims handling procedures. The agency is currently in the process of streamlining their services as well as going paperless with the introduction of a web based portal for its Board of Directors and the public, effective by the end of September 2011. Going paperless is a very important part of advancing the efficiency any organization.  InsureDirect.com went paperless in 1996 with the introduction of the Applied Agency Management System.  Not only did Applied  provide a portal store daily notations and customer conversation files, it’s scanning software provided our agency to scan and dispose of all paper files. At one point, InsureDirect’s offices maintains nearly 100 File Cabnets.  We now have two which provides storage for paper goods like Coffee Cups and Napkins. 

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation system is the largest state-fund insurance system in the US, serving over 250,000 employers and over 1.2 million workers. BWC recently celebrated its 100 years’ anniversary since the signing of the Ohio Workmen’s Compensation Act in June 1911.

 -Mike 

Michael E. Dortch
President &  Managing Agent
InsureDirect.com
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 602

Businesses in Massachusetts will Save on Workers Compensation Insurance

Massachusetts businesses are projected to save nearly $70 Million after an agreement was signed that effectively ensures state workers’ compensation rates would stay at current premium levels until late 2012. Like most businesses in the United States; all businesses operating in the State of Massachusetts are required by state law to buy and maintain workers compensation insurance for all their employees. The coverage pays for lost wages, medical expenses, and compensation for injuries they incur on the job.

The new agreement guarantees workers compensation rates will remain the same and will not increase before September, 2012.  It appears that representatives from the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspecting Bureau (WCRIB), and the Division of Insurance’s State Rating Bureau, and the Attorney General’s Office persuaded WCRIB to stop seeking the nearly 7% increase they have lobbied for the last 24 months. With the current state of the economy in Massachusetts and the US; increases on any business expenses can be harmful.  Many businesses in the US are in a critical cash flow position.

After the meeting, Mass Commissioner Murphy said, “Our goal at the Dept of Insurance is to make sure all insurance rates including Auto Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Renters Insurance and Workers Compensation Insurance rates are fair, they make whole the subject of the insuring agreement.  This is not the first time the Commissioner of Insurance has saved businesses money by brokering a deal with the WCRIB. Last year, the Commissioner saved businesses an identical amount of money in a similar deal which saw the overall rates come down by 2 1/2 percent. The key point to note in that particular agreement is that WCRIB was aiming to have the overall rates increased by nearly 5% percent. The agreement also did allow WCRIB to file its rates proposals the following year instead of waiting for two years as is the norm. This is an absolute benefit for all businesses in Massachusetts. Knowing what your expenses will be in the future is vital to the success of any business.  This is the reason so many business are having trouble operating recently.  Last year alone, small business and working families were able to save $106 million on health insurance due to the efforts of the administration in that front.  Another key area where the administration has had great success is Auto insurance which it started reform work three years back. To date, these reforms, such as car insurance have enabled drivers in the commonwealth community save hundreds of millions of dollars in Car Insurance Premiums. The state of Massachusetts had a very similar insurance climate as the state of New Jersey.  Over the last few years, InsureDirect.com has sold  thousands of auto insurance policies in New Jersey.  The helpful change in insurance climate in both states will help assist InsureDirect.com bring more low cost insurance products to the northeast.

Recent state workers’ compensation rate  comparison studies carried out by the U.S Department of Consumer and Business Services rank Massachusetts as one of the States with the lowest compensation rates nationwide. The current Patrick-Murray Administration has done a great deal to contribute to this as it has managed to reduce the rates by 20 % percent since it took office. The compensation system which was implemented in 1991 was to focus more on efficiency and return-to-work programs was what the state needed.

-Mike
 

Michael E. Dortch
President &  Managing Agent
InsureDirect.com
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 602

Two New Insurance Companies in Maine

As a nationally licensed insurance broker InsureDirect.com writes Auto & Homeowners Insurance throughout the United States.  The state of Maine is an insurance market which InsureDirect.com is looking to expand.  If you are a licensed driver in the State of Maine and your shopping for car insurance, give us a call at our Toll-Free 1-800 Quote Hot-line and (800) 807-0762.

Recently, the Main State Insurance Department  inform the public that two insurance companies will start preparing  quotes later this month which will soon be succeeded by another workers’ insurance company. Great Falls Insurance Company, which will start its services and begin offering policies later this month, will be headquartered in Auburn, Maine. The other company, First Maine Captive Insurance Company will start some time later this year. It is created by three workers’ compensation group self-insurers. First Maine Captive, when it opens, will be a captive insurance company.

Since 2003, there has been no captive insurance company in the said state despite the fact that it has been open to captive insurance companies since 1997. The administration of the captive will be led by R.A. Peterson Association.

Superintendent Mila Kofman claims that due to recent modification in captive laws in the state, Maine has become “more and more attractive for captive insurance companies”. He continues that the laws and regulatory environment have attracted insurance companies to Maine. It is therefore unsurprising that one of the two of these companies have considered making Maine their home base.

As of today, 19 insurance companies including Cheap Auto Insurance,  Homeowners Insurance, Motorcycle Insurance Companies have their headquarters in Maine. InsureDirect.com represents many of these carriers including a number of Commercial and Commercial Vehicle Insurance Companies. In addition, 1,119 otherExcess & Surplus lines insurance companies which possess their license to do business in Maine. Excess & Surplus Lines carriers will normally insure risks which your admitted state carriers will not.

-Mike

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