In 2018, SAIF again set the standard for quality and customer service in workers' compensation in Oregon. We surpassed our competitors by providing more safety and health services, faster claims decision-making, and reduced insurance costs for employers.
Over the years, we've strengthened our focus on workplace safety and health in service of our mission. We've learned the best way to keep premiums low is to prevent injuries from happening in the first place.
Last year, we helped our 53,715 policyholders build strong safety cultures through consultation and training-both in person and online. We made claims decisions quickly, paid injured workers on time, and helped them get back to work faster than other carriers. And since 95 percent of SAIF policyholders have fewer than 50 employees, we continue to support small businesses across the state.
At SAIF, we're proud to be a leader of one of the best workers' compensation systems in the nation. Making workplaces safer and serving injured workers isn't just good for our customers; it's good for all Oregon businesses and workers.
Expanding our safety impact
We have 71 safety and health experts who work with SAIF policyholders to create safer and healthier workplaces. In 2018, they had more than 9,100 safety and health consultations with policyholders. Our agricultural safety seminars-presented in English and Spanish-attracted 2,104 attendees. Additionally, 13,447 Oregon workers received Safety In Motion® training, thanks to policyholder trainers certified by our safety team.
Growing our digital reach in safety
Our reach also experienced growth digitally—SAIF's safety and health videos were viewed 150,951 times on YouTube, and 85,836 users visited our safety and health site, saif.com/safety. With the launch of the SAIF Learning Center—free for SAIF policyholders—employers and their employees can go online for safety and health training and track their progress on a wide range of topics.
Focusing on the whole worker
Strong safety cultures are the key for workplaces to attract and retain employees, improve morale, boost productivity, engage workers, and sustain injury prevention. We've developed tools to help our policyholders assess their own workplace safety culture and identify ways to take safety and health to the next level.
Making timely claims decisions
Oregon law says insurers have 60 days to accept or deny a claim once we have received notice of a workplace injury. But at SAIF, we make that initial decision on average within 35 days—more than 20 days sooner than our competitors. This allows injured workers to focus on recovery instead of wondering about the status of their claim.
Paying injured workers on time
The state requires insurance providers to pay the first wage replacement check to injured workers quickly and accurately. We made that payment within 14 days 93.4 percent of the time because we know how important these payments are to Oregon families. For comparison, private carriers made that payment within 14 days just 77.6 percent of the time.
Helping injured workers back to work
Our goal is to get injured workers with a temporary total disability back to work if they are ready within 60 days of their first time-loss day. In 2018, we did that 86 percent of the time, exceeding our goal. Over that same period, we helped employers secure $10.9 million in reimbursements from the Workers' Compensation Division's Employer-at-Injury Program for injured workers released for transitional or modified work.
Helping reduce rates
SAIF proudly serves more than half of Oregon's workers' comp market. Our strong results in claims management, return-to-work, and safety and wellness are a significant factor in driving down Oregon's overall pure premium rates. Our board also declared dividends in 2018 totaling $160 million, a portion of which was based on each policyholder's safety performance. The dividends represent a return of a portion of the premium that eligible customers paid in 2018. As the market leader, SAIF's impact on employer costs far outweighs that of any of our competitors.
Keeping our customers
Almost all our policyholders—99.2 percent—chose to renew with us in 2018, making this the ninth year in a row our retention rate has been above 99 percent.
Serving businesses in the Assigned Risk Pool
We are committed to serving and providing affordable insurance to employers across Oregon, including those in the Assigned Risk Pool. By offering services that help improve safety and other factors, we help businesses lower their rates and potentially move from the ARP to our regular book of business.
Saving money through medical audits
In 2018, we audited over 563,000 medical bills and secured over $154 million in savings for policyholders.
Among the many ways we serve Oregonians, SAIF strives to be an accountable partner and a trustworthy steward. In 2018, we experienced another year of strong fiscal management and financial stability. See for yourself by reviewing our financials.
Let us know if you have questions.