RPNA fights for clients involved in workers’ compensation audit and classification disputes.
An incorrect classification can cost an employer a good deal of additional workers compensation premium. For two decades, RPNA has successfully challenged erroneous classifications assigned by insurance carriers and the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (“WCIRB”). The WCIRB is an authorized agent of the California Insurance Commissioner designated to assist the Commissioner in formulating classifications for hundreds of types of businesses. For many businesses and brokers, challenging a classification assignment by the WCIRB can often seem futile. RPNA, however, will analyze the classification rules and type of work performed by a business and often engage the WCIRB if a classification should be corrected. If that does not work, we develop legal arguments as to why a classification is incorrect and even litigate against the WCIRB, if necessary. Among RPNA’s successes, is this recent decision where the Insurance Commissioner ruled in favor of RPNA’s client, and against the WCIRB, on two disputed classifications.
For workers’ compensation premium audit disputes, carriers and collection agencies often portray their claims as simple breaches of contract. Their refrain is usually “you owe us the money, plain and simple.” At RPNA, we dig deeper to determine if the carrier has complied with the law and its statutory and contractual obligations. Various factors go into a premium calculation, including classifications, rates, experience modifications, and other credits and debits. We examine these numbers, review carrier rate filings, and study policy language to determine if the carrier has overinflated premium. For the past 20 years, we have learned how carriers audit insureds and calculate premium. We ask questions others may not. Have backdated experience modification endorsements been used? Has a schedule rating worksheet been properly prepared? These are but a few of the items we will examine when a client comes in with a dispute over their final workers’ compensation premium audit bill. And we will even get involved beforehand, assisting clients with audits before, during, and after they take place.
RPNA will review and examine these issues to reach a realistic assessment of our client’s options. And our attorneys will do so with a keen eye on the potential costs and benefits of settling and litigating the issues. Whether it is in an administrative, state, or federal court, we come prepared to advocate for our client while also having the knowledge, skill and experience to work with insurance carriers and the WCIRB to negotiate and resolve the issues, if that is in our client’s best interests.