Worker’s comp will drop July 1

Worker's comp will drop July 1 For the fifth consecutive year, Gov. Bill Janklow had good news to deliver about worker's compensation insurance rates.

Janklow said worker's compensation insurance rates for businesses in South Dakota's voluntary market will plunge by 9.5 percent starting July 1.

For comparison, Minnesota rates will go down 2.8 percent and Iowa rates fall 0.5 percent while Nebraska rates go up 2.4 percent.

"It's finally gotten to the point where we think we have solved the problems," Janklow said.

Overall rates in the assigned risk program also will go down 12 percent in South Dakota. That follows a 10 percent reduction in 1998.

Janklow said employers continue to maintain safer workplaces, while a combination of education programs and insurance company safety inspections have kept the focus on safety. A medical fee schedule has helped bring down medical and indemnity costs, and various legislative reforms also reduced costs, he said.

"There's two things to keep in mind," Janklow said. "Make sure workers are safe, because that's the best way to have low rates. And two, treat fairly the people who suffer legitimate injuries on the job."

Before Janklow returned to office as governor in 1995, South Dakota's rates hadn't decreased since 1983. Starting in 1995, rates for the voluntary market dropped every year, including a 12.7 percent decline in 1998.

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