New York Construction Report staff writer
The New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF), the state’s largest workers’ compensation insurer, sent 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.
“Businesses are the lifeblood of communities, fueling the economy and creating opportunities for workers and families,” Governor Kathy 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.”
Under New York law, businesses must have 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.
“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,” New York State AFL-CIO president Mario Cilento said.
The announcement comes after Hochul signed legislation last month restoring access to low-cost workers’ compensation coverage through NYSIF for thousands of struggling New York businesses.