New data on Illinois workers’ compensation insurance show employers are in for some savings next year, but business advocates say it doesn’t mean Illinois has become more competitive with other states.
A new filing by the National Council on Compensation Insurance shows Illinois employers can expect a 12 percent reduction in their premiums for workers’ compensation insurance.
Some may interpret that as significant savings for a business owner.
But Illinois Manufacturers’ Association vice president Mark Denzler said the report only shows new data for four states. He said all others should see those savings too.
“Every other state will see decreases when their numbers are updated, meaning Illinois still continues to lag behind Indiana, behind Wisconsin, behind the rest of the country.”
Denzler stressed that one of the biggest reasons for cheaper employment insurance rates is the loss of higher-risk manufacturing work.
“As we’ve lost these high-paying jobs in manufacturing, construction and mining, the severity of injuries has gone down and the amount of time away from work has gone down,” he said. “Job losses are not the way you want to see the cost of workers compensation insurance drop.”
He added that workers’ compensation costs in Illinois are still in dire need of reform to make it more attractive to new and current business. “There is no doubt we have the seventh highest rate of workers compensation in the country and until we make changes, we’ll continue lag behind other states.”
Denzler said Illinois’ compensation laws are widely seen in the business community as hostile toward employers.
Opponents of workers compensation reform say the insurance industry is withholding the savings stemming from reforms made in 2011.