Confession: I am a chronic shopper.
Not for something exciting, like shoes, or iPhone cases, but for work comp markets. I live in fear of surprise rate changes. It feels like a paranoia disorder.
To keep ahead of changes, I shop for work comp markets year-round for my clients, and the job is never done. Ever.
Especially during years like this one when the State Commissioner’s office announced a big rate increase. Some insurers stop writing business, some leave the state, others raise rates, some don’t do anything, and others, not normally in our state, will try to take advantage of the chaos and buy market-share with lower than average rates. You never know until you check. Thats what I do all year: research work comp rates. Sounds like fun, huh.
And so it went with a particular client I’ve had for years: I’m working on rates for his account a couple months before the renewal, and all the rates I’m getting back are up: everything I was getting for this one alarm company was terrible.
One carrier quoted a rate for installers at almost $10.00, others came in between $7 and $9. Here’s the problem though, last year’s rate was only about $5.50! I had 5 quotes, and each was more ugly that the last.
After about two weeks of back and forth between underwriters I finally got a renewal quote that was roughly what my client had paid last year, It was up a little, but at least it was close.
If I wasn’t a chronic shopper of work comp rates, this dealer would have seen at least a 37% increase in his worker’s comp premium.
TL:DR: Work comp is getting ugly, start shopping early or better yet, use a broker who does it for you.