2019 annual report

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Introduction

SAIF is required by statute to distribute an annual report at this time each year, reflecting the previous year. Yes, a lot has happened since year-end 2019, but it's important nonetheless to share how we served Oregonians last year. We also wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update on our response to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

2020 pandemic response

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During this extraordinarily difficult time, SAIF remains open for business, actively serving Oregon's employers and workers, with the vast majority of our employees working from home offices across the state.

Coronavirus worker safety fund

In response to the biggest public health threat in decades, we created the coronavirus worker safety fund. This $25 million fund helped businesses pay for expenses tied to making workplaces safer against the virus and dealing with the impact of the pandemic on workers. 

Responding to care accessibility issues

We are taking steps to help injured workers who may face challenges accessing care. During the pandemic, we will continue to pay authorized time-loss benefits even if workers do not receive follow-up treatment within the 30-day requirement or fail to schedule or attend a closing exam for the duration of the emergency. We are also expanding the use of telemedicine and allowing diagnostic tests for coronavirus without a required worker-specific prescription.

Reducing the financial burden on businesses

Even before Oregon's Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) issued its order to stop insurance policy cancellation for 30 days, we were working on easing the financial burden for Oregon businesses. We advocated that employers paying workers on furlough should not be required to pay workers' compensation premium on that payroll. We also extended DFR's moratorium on policy cancellations and won't be canceling policies for financial reasons for the 60 days following March 23. 

Oregon's businesses will be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and SAIF is no different. SAIF does not receive any taxpayer money—all funds come from customers' premium payments and investment returns on those premiums. For that reason, in 2020 we expect SAIF will likely see declines in revenue and new sales while we continue servicing thousands of claims. 

2019 report

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In 2019, we continued supporting our mission of serving Oregon's workers and employers by making workers' compensation coverage widely available and affordable, and by providing extraordinary service.

Serving workers

SAIF set the standard for customer service in 2019, by getting injured workers what they need faster and promoting safer workplaces. In 2019, we made initial claim decisions on average within 35 days—25 days faster than Oregon law requires, and 22 days faster than our competitors. This allows injured workers to focus on recovery instead of wondering about the status of their claim. We also paid the first wage replacement check to injured workers within the state's required 14 days 94.3% of the time. 

Getting back on the job is an important part of recovery and healing. 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 2019, we did that 86% of the time. If an injured worker cannot return to regular work due to physical limitations, SAIF's return-to-work consultants can help them return to a temporary or transitional job.

SAIF has 77 safety and health experts who work with SAIF policyholders to create safer and healthier workplaces. They had more than 9,100 consultations in 2019. In addition, our free safety and health videos were viewed 192,795 times in 2019, and 99,146 users visited our safety and health site, saif.com/safety.

Supporting employers

SAIF is the largest workers' compensation insurance carrier in Oregon. 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 2019 totaling $160 million, a portion of which was based on each policyholder's safety performance.

Almost all our policyholders—99.1%—chose to renew with us in 2019, marking the 10th year in a row SAIF's retention rate has been above 99%.

Contributing to PERS

In 2019, SAIF placed $97 million in an employer side account to offset more than 90% of our share of the system's unfunded actuarial liability.

2019 financials

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SAIF strives to be an accountable partner and a trustworthy steward of the Industrial Accident Fund. In 2019, we experienced another year of strong fiscal management and financial stability.