Salem, OR – When it comes to workers’ compensation, safety pays the best dividends. The reason is simple-costs remain low because accidents and injuries are avoided in the first place.
To underscore this point, the SAIF Board of Directors recently declared two dividends for customers: a $120 million primary dividend to be paid to all eligible policyholders based on their premium, and a new, $20 million safety performance dividend to be paid based on each policyholder’s safety results.
“The safety performance dividend creates an important incentive for policyholders to maintain and improve safety,” said President and CEO Kerry Barnett. “It advances our mission to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work.”
This is the seventh year in a row SAIF has returned a substantial dividend to its customers, but it’s the first time since 2000 SAIF has rewarded safety performance through a dividend. The safety component will be distributed on a graduated scale based on the policyholder’s losses and premiums, with the greatest amount paid to those with the best safety results as measured by paid losses to standard premium.
Together, the dividends represent a return of approximately 22 to 26 percent of premium that eligible customers paid in 2015. They are possible because of SAIF’s overall financial results, including investment returns and favorable trends in claim costs.
“We’re able to pay dividends because of strong financial results, and the best driver of those results are the injuries that don’t happen as Oregon workplaces become safer and healthier,” Barnett said. “More importantly, safety and health programs have helped thousands of workers avoid the pain and anguish of a workplace injury. That’s the best dividend of all.”
More than 46,000 customers are eligible for SAIF’s primary dividend. Of those, about 95 percent are also eligible to receive all or part of the additional safety performance dividend.
Checks will be mailed in October to those who are eligible for the dividends.