Montana State Fund, the state’s largest workers’ compensation insurance company, recently announced an average rate reduction of 3% for its policyholders.
The decision was taken at the March 11 meeting of the MSF board of directors and is effective for new policies and renewals from July 1. This is the 16th consecutive year that MSF rates have remained stable or been reduced, agency officials said.
MSF Board Chairman Richard Miltenberger said in a press release that the board is committed to providing employers in Montana with stability and predictability, knowing that the agency has a significant impact on Montana companies.
“We hope this rate cut will allow employers to hire more workers, make improvements, and ultimately improve Montana’s economy,” he said.
MSF President and CEO Laurence Hubbard said “Montana companies continue to improve workplace safety, we are committed to ensuring that our rates reflect these improvements.”
With the most recent cut, MSF’s rates are now 54.1% lower than in 2006 (the year of the last rate increase), state fund officials said.
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Next to payroll, workers’ compensation insurance is the biggest expense on an employer’s books, state fund officials said, adding that small businesses form the backbone of Montana’s economy.
In October, the State Fund announced a record dividend of $40 million for policyholders.
Dividends are paid to employers as a direct result of better-than-expected investment market performance and positive workplace safety outcomes, the Montana State Fund said.
On Tuesday, the Montana State Fund announced that it had presented the Motor Carriers of Montana with a check for $224,044, as a “retrospective return” for participating in the group’s safety program and improving safety at the work.
Hubbard said Montana Motor Carriers have earned this comeback by putting “safety at the forefront of their collective mind and proving that safety pays.”
Duane Williams, executive director of Motor Carriers of Montana, said he was able to improve members’ workplace safety culture and reduce workplace injuries.
The 23 members of the motor carrier group will share in the total return, with the average check to policyholders amounting to approximately $9,700. Checks range from about $64 to more than $34,000, depending on policy size, premium paid and losses incurred, state fund officials said.
Associate Editor Phil Drake can be reached at 406-231-9021.