Effective July 1, 2017, Ohio employers can request that a workers’ compensation claim resulting from a motor vehicle accident that is likely to be subrogated be paid from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s (BWC) surplus fund account rather than be charged to the employer’s experience.
Prior to this new process, Ohio employers had no reprieve from higher workers’ compensation premiums and loss of group rating eligibility, despite an auto accident not being their fault.
OIA member support
This new process is the result of the passage of Ohio House Bill 207, which OIA members Jim Klingensmith, CIC of L. Calvin Jones & Co. in Canfield, Mike Heister, CIC of Heister Insurance in Cincinnati, and Tom Lucci, CPCU, ARM of National Risk Management Services Inc. in Chagrin Falls provided testimony in support of this issue in the House and Senate insurance committees.
Initially, the form BWC developed for employers to apply for this new process required multiple pieces of supporting documentation that would have been difficult to obtain, such as the at-fault party’s auto insurance declaration page.
This raised significant concerns because it would likely be impossible for an employer to obtain this information. Without it, an employer would not be able to benefit from the new process to have a motor vehicle accident claim that is not their fault be charged to BWC’s surplus fund.
With this in mind, OIA arranged a meeting with several members of BWC’s actuarial and legal teams – including BWC Chief Actuary Chris Carlson -- to express concerns.
As a result of the meeting, BWC revised the form. Now only two key pieces of supporting insurance documentation are required to be submitted by an employer with the application: An auto insurance ID card can be provided in lieu of a dec page.
Educate commercial clients
A win for Ohio’s employers, this new BWC process corrects an inequity that used to exist by punishing employers that were in a situation that may be no fault of their own.
We encourage you to educate your commercial clients about this new process so they can take advantage of it should they be involved in a motor vehicle accident that meets this criteria.
Questions? Contact OIA’s Government Affairs Manager Carolyn Mangas.