Cassville deals with insurance hikes

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

City's workers comp insurance up 20.5 percent

The city of Cassville is dealing with rate hikes for its property and workers compensation insurance, with the latter increasing by 20.5 percent.

The city paid $28,401.30 for workers compensation insurance last year, but this year's price tag is $34,936.30, an increase of $6,535.

Darelyn Cooper, Cassville city clerk, said multiple factors played into the workers compensation rate hike.

"Our experience modification rate increased by 8 percent due to the average of our claims over the past three years," she said. "So, this increase affected only the City of Cassville. [And], payroll decreased by 2 percent, which lowered contributions."

Cassville is part of a pool of cities that purchase insurance through Midwest Public Risk of Independence, Mo.

According to Cooper, there were three adjustments to the rates affecting the whole pool or the whole state:

* The NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance) went up by 12 percent, a state-wide increase based on class codes;

* The discount decreased from 20 percent to 15 percent for all the members of the pool;

* The 2nd Injury Fund, which is state-mandated, increased from 3 percent to 6 percent state-wide.

Cassville's property insurance also increased. The city saw a 4.9 percent hike of $2,048, bringing its total premium to $44,180.54.

Cooper said the rate raise was across the board and for all members.

While the city budgeted for increases in the rates, both which went into effect on July 1, it did not budget enough.

The budgeted amount for property insurance is only $394 short, but the workers compensation insurance budget will need $8,536 to break even.

"We will have to take the increase out of the contingency fund unless we have some expense items that are expected to come in under budget, or revenue items coming in over budget," she said. "We have already started working on the budget adjustment."

The city is expected to address the budget change at its Aug. 11 city council meeting.

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