How and Why the Experience Rating Plan is Changing

If you have an experience modification factor, please take a moment to read this. If you are not sure if you have an experience modification factor, please call us at 877.994.6787, we’ll help you.

The changes are to the California Experience Rating Plan (ERP). This is the mandatory plan that produces experience modifications (ex-mods) for all California employers that have sufficient payroll to qualify. The changes are effective January 1, 2010.

The changes to the ERP are based on recommendations from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau’s (WCIRB) Experience Rating Task Force to improve the ex-mod’s predictive value and make it easier to understand.

Major changes to the Experience Rating Plan:

**Claims Split

The methodology formula used for splitting actual losses into primary and excess components is changing to a “single split” model, with the first $7,000 of every loss considered primary. This change recognizes that an employer’s claims frequency is more predictive of future losses than the actual size of a given claim.    

**Credibility Values Updated

Credibility values are the weights applied to an employer’s loss experience. The updates recognize that the claims experience of a large employer is more predictive of future losses than the claims experience of a small employer.

Who Is Affected by the Changes?

Most employers will experience an ex-mod change of a few percentage points under the new plan. The precise impact on employers with an experience modification factor will depend on the size of their payroll and the number and size of their losses. According to the WCIRB, an estimated 47 percent of all employers could see a decrease of up to 10 points under the plan.

If you have any questions about this bulletin, any work comp matter or are not sure if you have an experience modification factor, here’s 4 easy ways to reach us:

Free call-877.994.6787


Email us-


We wish you all of the success that you deserve! Let us know how your work comp program is changing and how we can help you.


Today near San Diego, a recently fired casino employee killed another and took his own life at the scene of his previous employment.  

On average, 20 workers are killed each week on the job, making homicide the second leading cause of death at the workplace (after motor vehicle accidents). Additionally, an estimated million workers are non-fatally assaulted each year, according to data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though the vast majority of workplace violence is related to robbery and perpetrated by individuals from outside a business, about 9% involves co-workers or former employees. 

Workplace violence committed by current or former employees has a devastating impact on a business and its employees. Although the real and immediate injury to the victim(s) delivers the biggest blow, the business itself can suffer bad publicity and, likely, an expensive lawsuit. Regardless of whether or not workers who were not involved in the incident witnessed the event, many are likely to experience emotional after-effects.

What are the causes of workplace violence? According to a guide published by the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry, workplace violence can occur at any business, because the business environment is not the only trigger of brutal incidents. Family stress, substance abuse issues, and an employee’s overall psychological status, can carry into the workplace and provoke an incident of violence. Other situations that can lead to tragedy include an employee developing an unrequited crush on a co-worker, being rejected for a promotion, or feeling they are treated unjustly by a supervisor. In some cases, an individual cannot handle the resulting feelings of rejection appropriately. The pressure to produce and/or fear of layoffs can also trigger violence in an unbalanced employee.

An analysis by USA Today of 224 incidents of workplace violence committed by employees concluded that, in 80% of cases, the employee had exhibited clear warning signs of possible violence, which were ignored or minimized by supervisors or co-workers. Although some red flags of violence are clear — such as wielding a weapon or making verbal threats — others are less obvious. Experts in the field urge caution when the following behaviors are present:

  • Continuous complaints of unjust treatment
  • Inability or unwillingness to be held accountable, as well as the need to place blame on others
  • Difficulty in accepting criticism
  • Deterioration of job performance
  • Mood swings or personality/behavioral changes
  • Emotional outbursts

Although workplace violence cannot be eliminated completely, businesses can take action to lessen the chances that an incident will take place. Supervisors, managers, and all other employees should be made aware of actions and attitudes that can indicate potential violence. Companies need to make it perfectly clear that non-physical precursors to violence — such as bullying, intimidation, aggression, and threats — will not be tolerated. Policies should also encourage employees to report such red flags, with reasonable assurance of their personal safety. Managers and supervisors require training in how to diffuse workplace tensions effectively and deal with confrontations before they turn violent. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) or other counseling services can be helpful in taking these steps.

Give us your comments on how yoiur keep your workplace safe and free from violence.

Please contact any of our protection coaches for more information and tools to help your business:

Phone – 877.994.6787
Email us –
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Grand Prize #4 – The Lucky Winner Is…

Grand Prize #4 Drawing – Someone won $1,001 in cold hard CASH and $501 for their favorite charity, just by telling a friend about Stromsoe Insurance Agency.

Wait Mike, where are you going with that HUGE CHECK?  See what happens next…

Congratulations to Kathleen Hefley – she just won a little extra shopping  money for the holidays.  The Total Protection Team would like to thank all of you for all of your referrals and for allowing Stromsoe Insurance Agency to help protect you and your loved ones.  A special thanks to Linda & Donna with Anthem/Blue Cross for helping us out with the grand prize drawing.

The 2009 Referral Express has one more stop and then we will kick off by going the extra mile in 2010.  Buckle your seat belts and start talking.  Are YOU next?

Have comments, questions or great ideas – reply below, we would love to hear from you or here are 4 easy ways to contact us:

1. Visit
2. Email
3. Call 877-994-6787
4. Fax 951- 677-6265

And The Winner Is…

Grand Prize Drawing #3 – The Big Screen TV

Having trouble viewing this video – Click Here.

Congratulations to Jeannette Hartmann – we hope you enjoy that great BIG TV!  The Stromsoe Insurance Agency Total Protection Team would also like to thank all of you for your continued recommendations, you are truly appreciated.

You still have time to catch a ride on the 2009 Referral Express, only a couple more stops before the year ends.  You won’t want to miss YOUR chance to win Grand Prize #4 – $1,001 in Cold Hard $$$ CASH $$$.  Tell your friends, family and business associates about Stromsoe Insurance Agency for your chance to win.  And remember, there is NO LIMIT to the number of entries you may have, so keep on talking!

Do you have questions, comments or suggestions for our 2010 Referral Program?  If so, we want to know.  Please leave your comments below, call us at 877-994-6787, email us at or visit our website at


On average, there are more than six million auto accidents on U.S. roads every year. Sadly, 34,017 of these crashes proved to be fatal in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Based on these shocking statistics, it might seem inevitable that we’ll all suffer from an auto accident at some point. However, there are numerous precautions you can take when you’re behind the wheel to reduce your risk of having an accident. Auto insurance experts implore drivers to wear their seatbelts, drive defensively, closely follow driving laws and be considerate to other drivers. Read on for more driving safety tips that will help you steer clear of auto accidents.

Keep your eyes on the road. When you’re behind the wheel, it’s extremely important to stay focused on the road at all times. The NHTSA reports that driving distractions cause up to 4,300 accidents every day in the U.S. That’s why you shouldn’t take your eyes off the road for even a moment, whether you’re changing radio stations or dialing a number on your cell phone. Safety experts say you should pull over to a safe place on the side of the road if you need to do any of the following:

  • Pick up an item you dropped
  • Change CDs
  • Look at a map
  • Eat or drink
  • Change radio stations
  • Dial a number, talk on the phone, or send a text message
  • Read a newspaper
  • Apply makeup, comb your hair, or take care of any other personal grooming

Just say no to road rage.
Safety experts say drivers should also avoid aggressive driving. Be courteous to other cars on the road, and control your road rage. Although it might be tempting to yell and gesture at another driver who cuts you off on the highway, try to keep your cool. If you antagonize an aggressive driver, the situation could escalate quickly. If you fear that another driver is putting you at risk, call the police immediately.

Try to remain polite on the road. There seems to be a common phenomenon where people who are generally well-mannered in every day life lose their sense of common courtesy when they’re behind the wheel. You probably see it every day during your commute. For example, when you turn on your signal to switch lanes, the driver in the next lane speeds up and blocks you in. Although it can be easy to lose your temper in this situation, you’re better off letting them pass than trying to cut them off. After all, countless accidents occur every day because of aggressive driving.

Top 10 safety tips. Follow these top 10 safety tips to reduce your risk of having an auto accident:

1. Never drive after you drink alcohol, even if you’ve just had one or two drinks.

2. Don’t give in to distractions, such as playing with your iPod, reading a text message, or picking up a toy your child dropped in the backseat.

3. Avoid road rage. If you come across an aggressive driver, don’t antagonize or encourage them. Keep your cool and call the police if the driver is putting other motorists at risk.

4. Keep a safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. For every 10 miles per hour of your driving speed, leave at least one car length between your car and the car in front of you.

5. Try to maintain a consistent speed. Don’t continually slow down and speed up unless the posted speed limit changes.

6. Keep your car in tip-top shape. Get regular oil changes and tune ups and check the condition of your tires at least once a month.

7. Stay alert when you drive through intersections. Most accidents occur in intersections, so be sure to look left, then right, then left again to make sure it is safe to pass through.

8. Keep your side mirrors and rear-view mirrors adjusted properly. As you drive, check your side and rear-view mirrors every 15 seconds to make sure you’re in the clear.

9. Be aware of road conditions and react appropriately. For example, turn on your lights if you’re driving at dusk or dawn or in the rain. If the roads are wet, snowy or icy and you feel your car starting to hydroplane, don’t brake suddenly or turn the steering wheel. This could send you into a skid. Instead, ease off the gas pedal slowly and steer straight until you feel your tires regain traction.

10. Sign up for a defensive driving class. With the proper training, you’ll be able to react more quickly to potential accidents on the road.

Let us know what you think, please share any safety or defensive driving secrets you have learned. Please drive safely this holiday season.