A letter from the President

ICRB Anniversary, Website & Social Media Launch and COVID-19 Updates

By Karen Byrd

Updated 7/31/2020

Hello and welcome to our new website! I am thrilled to be writing my first “President’s Letter” to you. My plan going forward is to keep you updated on a quarterly basis.

The Indiana Compensation Rating Bureau (ICRB) reached a milestone on July 1, 2020 by celebrating its 85th Anniversary. Throughout the last 85 years, there have been many changes in the insurance industry and the ICRB has been there throughout the journey helping Indiana stakeholders navigate the complexity of workers compensation.  

As a bit of historical reference, the Workmen’s Compensation Rating Bureau Act, (now IC Code 27-7-2-3), was approved on 3/14/1935. On July 1st of that year, we become known as the, Workmen’s Compensation & Occupational Disease Rating Bureau of Indiana; a definite mouthful! Our name was changed in May of 1960 when we became commonly known as the Indiana Compensation Rating Bureau.

Since its inception, the ICRB has only had nine leaders and has been located in the same office building for the last forty-one years. Before the retirement of our previous President and Vice President (Ron Cooper in 2019 and Duane Schroeder this year), the average tenure of ICRB employees was 35 years. To say we have been a steady force in Indiana is without question. The ICRB has always been, and will continue to be, invested in the Indiana Workers Compensation community.

We are committed to providing our stakeholders with the most current information and resources available. To this end, our staff diligently worked with developers over the last few months to update our website. With a new look and feel, as well as organizational layout, we hope that you will be pleased with these efforts and find the website more useful and easier to navigate. Some special features to point out include:

  • CompClues is now referred to as the “Reference Library”. We have reviewed and updated each topic to ensure rule references are included, source information is documented and that each item is easy to understand.
  • Many common insurance terms have been consolidated into the “Glossary of Insurance Terms” document located within the Document Library.
  • Dedicated pages have been created for our primary areas of focus: Assigned Risk, Experience Rating, Classifications & Inspections and Rate Filing. This will allow the user to navigate directly to all items related to the topic they want to research without having to scroll through the entire Document Library.
  • Agents can now enter Assigned Risk applications directly into our website without having to navigate to NCCI’s website. Additionally, they can obtain Experience Rating worksheets directly from our website.
  • A “News & Updates” section has been created to provide users with the most current workers compensation information in Indiana.
  • A general inquiries section has been added to our “Contact Us” page, allowing a user to email a general question to our staff.

In conjunction with our brand-refresh and launch of our new website, the ICRB has also joined the world of social media. To obtain the latest news and updates from the ICRB, we encourage you to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and/or Twitter. We will push all blog posts, President’s Messages and Circulars to these platforms. Keeping stakeholders within the workers compensation community updated with the latest information is imperative and it will be available right at your fingertips.  

I would be remiss not to comment on COVID-19 in my initial letter to you. The year 2020 will be one for the history books. The entire world has been devastated by this pandemic. Life as we have known it has been altered in some way, shape or form. Here in Indiana, we have made several workers compensation filings that affect employers in a positive way, including the exclusion of all COVID-19 claims payments from an employer’s experience rating and the exclusion of furloughed employee payroll from audited premium.

Many people have asked us what the outcome will be on workers compensation rates based on the number of COVID claims reported.  At this time, there is not enough data to make any prediction. As of the date of this letter, Indiana has had less than 2,500 COVID-19 workers compensation claims filed with less than 10 fatalities. The financial cost associated with these claims will not be known until 18 months after the initial filing of the claim. The national unemployment trend is currently up by over 30% which leads us to believe that fewer non-COVID workers compensation claims will be filed. This may offset any cost associated with the COVID-19 claims and potentially keep rates neutral. Actuarial estimates of COVID-19 losses vary considerably and are not currently dependable. The ICRB will continue to monitor COVID-19 changes in Indiana and the nation. We recognize the extreme nature of this pandemic; not only in terms of its financial impact, but also the emotional toll it is having on many people.

Indiana is a proud state, one where everyone works together for the greater good. In the year and a half that I have lived here, I have had the pleasure of witnessing Hoosier hospitality firsthand, even during times of “social distancing.” I’ve seen the goodness of her people and how important it is to rally together in times of need. “We are in this together” has been the mantra for this pandemic; and I for one think it is true. During this time of “the new normal”, work from home and partial shutdowns, the ICRB is committed to continuing its outstanding customer service and to be the source in Indiana for your workers compensation needs.

Please reach out to me if you ever have any questions, issues or suggestions for how we can better serve you.

Stay safe, stay healthy and take care.