SAIF headquarters near downtown Salem on Monday. (Troy Brynelson/Salem Reporter)
Business is going well enough at SAIF, a workers’ compensation insurer, that it plans to give $160 million out to policyholders this year.
That will land about $14.5 million collectively for policyholders in Marion and Polk counties, according to spokeswoman Lauren Casler.
The not-for-profit insurance company regularly pays out dividends after a strong financial performance. Last year, the company saw “strong” returns on its investments while costs of claims decreased, the company said in its announcement. Casler said medical costs are trending downward.
“We don’t need as much money set aside for those injuries because they are costing less than we expected,” she said.
The amount of each payout will be based on the premium a company pays and its safety performance, SAIF officials said.
There are roughly 5,000 policyholders in Marion and Polk counties — 4,233 in the former, 795 in the latter. On average, Marion County policyholders can expect around $3,200, Casler said, while Polk County will get about $2,700 per policy.
Last year, there were roughly 4,000 workers’ compensation claims filed in Marion and Polk counties. SAIF estimates there are 65,000 employees covered by its policies. Casler said those numbers don’t include state workers.
“While most agencies are based in Salem, they have employees statewide so we don’t know how many claims they had specifically in the region, the cost of those claims, how many employees are in these counties, or whether their dividend will go back to the region,” she said.
SAIF has paid dividends in 22 of the past 30 years, including every year over the last decade.
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