NYSIF Safety Group Sews Up Big Dividend, Major Savings For Policyholders


New York City, NY- One of the New York State Insurance Fund's oldest safety groups insuring the New York apparel industry for 75 years has received its biggest dividend ever.

The Chamber of Commerce of the Apparel Industry Safety Group has never missed a dividend since its founding in 1935, but this year out did itself with a 65% dividend for the 2007-2008 policy period, for which it had already received a 25% up-front discount.

This follows sizeable dividends of 40 and 45% in the two previous years. The safety group has an annual premium of $7.3 million.  

Group manager Howard Birne credits the safety group's success to keeping a close eye on loss runs and being selective in admitting new members, closely monitoring claims, regular communications with NYSIF underwriters and claims managers, and a close relationship between group management and members.

“We can pick up the phone and talk to each other and that makes a big difference,” Mr. Birne said. “It is very rare that we get a reservation letter,” he added, referring to letters from policyholders considering changing workers' compensation insurers.  

Mr. Birne, who has served as group manager for 30 years, is both nostalgic and philosophical when it comes to the halcyon days of the garment industry in New York. “Much has changed, many have left and it's just not realistic to think they're ever coming back.”

Mr. Birne does, however, point with pride to some of the biggest names in fashion that maintain a New York presence and are strong safety group members.  

“It is nice to know that NYSIF is playing a role in preserving what certainly is an iconic New York industry,” commented NYSIF Chief Deputy Executive Director Francine James. “It's equally rewarding to know the great job our safety group partner is doing for its members.”

The New York State Insurance Fund is a non-profit agency of the state of New York that was created as part of the Workers' Compensation Law of 1914. By law, NYSIF is a competitive insurance carrier that sells workers' compensation and disability benefits to any employer doing business in New York. Approximately 180,000 employers hold NYSIF workers' compensation policies while 61,000 have active disability benefits policies.

Source: New York State Insurance Fund

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