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Picayune School Board hears report on Worker's Compensation coverage renewal

During yesterday’s meeting of the Picayune School Board of Trustees, the board received a detailed report on the district’s Worker’s Compensation Insurance renewal from Justin Ladner of BancorpSouth Insurance.

Ladner told the board that the district ratings lag behind for three years in regards to the number used for the ratings which in turn impact rates for the coverage to be provided.

In 2015 the rating was 1.46 , in 2016 it was 1.30 and last year at 1.12. He said the district went up 4 points to 1.16 for the current year. In 2017, LUBA, the current carrier for the district, has paid out $282,000 in claims, but has only charged the district $189,000 in their premium cost to the district.

Ladner told the board, “They (LUBA) are not profitable and they are in the business of being profitable.”

Ladner said there were currently 9 open claims and he hopes to close those out as soon as possible. He said “it’s not lost time that they are accumulating, it’s just medical expenses or legal expenses.”

Ladner told the board that the large number of claims has impacted the cost and therefore will result in an increase the quote. He stated, "In most schools, most of the claims are with cafeteria workers or in the transportation department, but in Picayune it’s the teachers more than anything."

Ladner gave examples of the claims filed in the district such as one that occurred on January 25th, 2017, when an employee walking in a hallway, slipped and fell, and dislocated a left shoulder for a $63,000.00 claim to date so far. Another claim, on June 27, 2017, an employee was putting garbage into a dumpster, slipped and tried to catch herself, pulled her left shoulder for a $28,000.00 claim. In July 10, 2017, an employee was walking into a building when a coworker accidently turned off the lights, the employee tripped and fell injuring left knee for a claim of $80,000.00.

“I think these are really true accidents that have happened. I don’t think it anyone is working the system. How do we fix it is going to be the issue, “ Ladner stated.

Ladner presented information to the board that showed that the district paid LUBA $189,007.00 last year and the quote for renewal from LUBA is $210,073.00, an increase $21,066.00. Ladner said that BancorpSouth received quotes from other carriers. He pointed out that LUBA is a guaranteed cost meaning they pay regardless of the situation. There were other quotes and Ladner pointed out some possible concerns and shortcomings with those quotes from approximately another dozen providers.

Ladner told the board that he thinks the district’s rating will go up higher for next year, possibly a 1.19 or 1.21, due to amount of money to be paid out in regards to the current 9 claims outstanding. Of those claims, four of the employee claims have representation according to Ladner.

Ladner recommended to the board to accept LUBA quote and the board voted unanimously to go with his recommendations. The policy would be effective January 1, 2018.


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