New York State's Largest Workers' Compensation Carrier Distributes More than Half a Billion Dollars to a Majority of Policyholders Through Dividends and Discounts
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the New York State Insurance Fund, New York's largest workers' compensation insurer, distributed more than $550 million over the past year to New York businesses through its discounts and dividends programs. NYSIF offers discounts to companies that it insures directly and that exhibit robust worker safety protocols. It provides dividends for companies that belong to a NYSIF safety group, where employers in similar industries pool together to reduce workers' compensation costs. The program is a part of Governor Hochul's mission to provide relief and cost savings to New York businesses.
"Businesses are the lifeblood of communities, fueling the economy and creating opportunities for workers and families," Governor Hochul said. "As our state economy recovers from the pandemic, NYSIF's infusion of more than half a billion dollars in savings will help New York employers reinvest in their workforce and strengthen local communities across New York State."
New York State Insurance Fund Executive Director and CEO Gaurav Vasisht said, "I thank Governor Hochul for her inspiring leadership and tireless commitment to New York's economic recovery. The Governor's bold vision for New York is embodied in these funds, rewarding employers for maintaining safe work environments and helping them meet their commitment to worker safety."
Under New York law, businesses must secure workers' compensation coverage, which most companies obtain through NYSIF or a private carrier. But unlike a private insurer, NYSIF must cover any employer that applies for coverage regardless of risk at the lowest possible cost to maintain a solvent fund. The distribution of dividends and discounts is central to NYSIF's role as a safety net for workers' compensation coverage.
Workers' Compensation Board Chair Clarissa Rodriguez said, "Keeping workers safe is the right thing to do and always good for business. We applaud NYSIF's efforts in rewarding employers who prioritize worker safety, and hope today's announcement will encourage even more employers to implement strong safety protocols to reduce on-the-job injuries and illnesses."
The Business Council of New York State President and CEO Heather Briccetti said, "As the State's leading business advocate, The Business Council applauds NYSIF's efforts to help NY businesses as they continue to struggle with the present economic conditions. We commend Governor Hochul for working to keep workers' compensation rates from increasing for all employers and her ongoing commitment to New York businesses."
New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said, "The NYSIF dividends and discounts announced by Governor Hochul are welcome news to employers across the state, but most importantly to hardworking New Yorkers because they are only distributed to policyholders that demonstrate a commitment to keeping their workers safe. We thank Governor Hochul, NYSIF, and the highly-skilled union workforce at the agency for once again leading the way in the workers' compensation industry in keeping working people safe on the job."
The announcement today comes after Governor Hochul signed legislation last month restoring access to low-cost workers' compensation coverage through NYSIF for thousands of struggling New York businesses. Aimed at helping small businesses navigate the post-COVID economy, the law will generate millions in potential savings for policyholders.