The borough of Nazareth, Pennsylvania is expected to pay at least $195,000 in worker’s compensation premiums for the year 2012-2013—a cost that has more than doubled in the past five years.
In June, Nazareth was forced to turn to the state of Pennsylvania for coverage of its employees. This was after its worker’s compensation insurer, Travelers Insurance, had notified the borough it had paid out $1.1 million in claims since 2009 and would be dropping coverage.
Premiums were $126,500 in 2011-12, compared with $96,000 in 2010-11 and $64,500 in 2009-10, according to borough documents.
Borough Secretary and Treasurer, Paul Kokolus, said that Nazareth has health insurance coverage for employees, but worker’s compensation insurance covers medical payments and lost wages for injuries that go beyond the standard health coverage.
This past Tuesday, Vice President Larry Stoudt said that the borough had contacted several insurance firms, but that all of them had declined to cover the borough. Nazareth now will receive worker’s compensation coverage from the State Workers’ Insurance Fund.
Worker’s compensation claims, coupled with grievances, are the main reasons Mayor Fred Daugherty has sought to contract police services from another business entity. The mayor last year said that borough property taxes would have to increase to keep the police department running as it is now.
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