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What Will a Biden Administration Mean for Workplace Safety…and your Insurance Premiums?

By January 8, 2021January 12th, 2021Blog

Written by Mike Horan, Webber and Grinnell Business Insurance Specialist and RiSC Consultant


In a recent article, our vice president Mat Geffin noted rising insurance costs (11% rate increases annually in the Property & Casualty space, on average nationally) due to uncertainty around pandemic losses, catastrophic natural disaster claims, a lack of capacity in the reinsurance market, low interest rates, and increased size of claims due to social inflation

With the inauguration only a few days away, we are asking ourselves: how will the incoming Biden administration impact businesses like yours, and consequently, the insurance marketplace and your premiums?

With the inauguration of Joe Biden, we expect a return to a highly pro union, pro workers’ rights administration similar to what we saw under President Obama (and Vice President Biden) from 2009 – 2017. This could very well come with a change of leadership at OSHA. The current acting administrator Loren Sweatt has been in the role as an interim since 2017, and experts anticipate a changing of the guard. 

Most importantly for your business, you can count on a shift back to heavier enforcement of OSHA workplace violations. During his campaign for the presidency, Biden called on OSHA to “double the number of OSHA investigators to enforce the law and existing standards and guidelines.” Based on this, we expect more inspectors visiting businesses to ensure compliance, and heavier fines for infractions. We also anticipate a return to practices such as issuing press releases publicly naming companies that have been fined for workplace safety violations, in an effort to discourage other businesses from making the same mistakes.

At Webber and Grinnell, we place heavy emphasis on loss control and creating a culture of safety within our clients’ operations. This is not just because we care about doing the right thing and keeping everyone safe (although that is certainly the primary reason). It’s also because we know that insurance companies are scrutinizing safety and losses more than ever due to the aforementioned facts about rising costs in the marketplace. They are rewarding safe companies, and penalizing unsafe companies. One of the primary resources they use to make these decisions is OSHA records, so it is absolutely essential that you adhere to OSHA’s policies and guidelines.

To prepare for the incoming administration and the changes that will accompany it, we encourage you to prioritize your safety practices. OSHA will be examining this much more closely, and so will the insurance companies. You need to be a step ahead by doing everything you can to create a culture of safety.

Not sure where to start? Please get in touch with us so we can help. We developed our RiSC platform for this very purpose. We also have experts on our staff – such as Ralph Thresher, our Senior Safety Consultant – with OSHA expertise who are here to help you stay compliant and propel your business to the next level. Long-term benefits include fewer injuries, less downtime, lower insurance costs, better employee morale, and a work culture that will attract the best talent. Contact us today, and let’s get started.