University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association / Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers' Association. Forty-seventh annual meeting, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, December 14, 1933. Forty-seventh summer convention, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, August 8, 1933

Scott, A. B.
Compensation insurance,   pp. 20-22 PDF (825.6 KB)

Page 21

other changes, all of which tended to increase the cost of claims under
the compensation law to a substantial extent.
"2. The gradual decrease in wage levels occurring during the past
18 months has resulted in about a 33%1/s increase in exposure per
$100 of payroll throughout the state of Wisconsin. In other words,
the rates during the first part of 1931 were based upon $100 of pay-
roll at the wage rate which prevailed in 1929, and it follows that when
wage rates decrease, there is a corresponding increase in the exposure
to hazard since $100 of payroll now represents from one-third to one-
half more hours of labor.
"3. Since jobs have become scarce and unemployment is prevalent
to a large extent in all industries, men who have been injured prefer
to prolong their injuries and remain at home drawing 70% of their
wage from the insurance company rather than return to work with
the uncertainty of losing their job at any time. Consequently, the in-
crease in malingering has been tremendous.
"These three factors together with other less important considera-
tions compelled the insurance companies to request a very large in-
crease in rates, and after a careful review of all the facts this board
permitted increases which totalled about 25%5. The increase applied
to your industry has been the same as that applied to all others and
we can assure you there has been no discrimination in that recard.
"The experience in your classification indicates that there will be
further increase in the pure premium during the next year."
We still maintain that the rates are too high as compared to the
losses suffered by cranberry growers. I wrote another letter to Mr.
Mount on the 27th, and I presented the same claim. His answer is as
"If you are of the opinion that the industry of cranberry growir-
should be made the subject of a separate classification, we suggest
that you address a communication containing the facts to the Wiscon-
sin Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau, located at 312 East
Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Rating Committee oO
this bureau will meet on December 13, and all such matters are refer-
red to that committee for action.
"It is possible for cranberry growers as a class to organize their
own compensation insurance company, either upon the stock or mu-
tual plan. In this connection, we have requested the Insurance De-
partment to write you.
"The Workmen's Compensation Act of Wisconsin is compulsory and
any employer who usually employs three or more persons must make
provision for meeting his liability under that act, either by insurance
in a compensation insurance company or by carrying the risk himself
with the approval of the Industrial Commission.
"Upon the subject of the present rates applicable to your industry,
we refer you to our letter dated July 16, 1932 addressed to you as
President of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association."
In a conversation with Mr. Lawton, secretary of the Workmen's
Compensation Board, he stated at least 200 premiums would have to
be paid in, before a mutual could be organized to work under a char-
ter. I then wrote a letter to the Wisconsin Rating and Inspection
Bureau, asking them why we couldn't get a separate rating, and what
the possibilities would be. His answer reads as follows:
"Answering yours of December 12. it occurs to us that assigning
the market and truck gardening classification to the work of harvest-
ing and sorting cranberries is very fair and equitable. There would
not appear to be any less hazard in connection with the harvestin-
and sorting of cranberries than there is in connection with the work
of harvesting and sorting any other form of berry.
"The fact of whether or not the losses in connection with your in-
dustry have been excessive or light is merely an index and cannot

Go up to Top of Page