9 Ways to Improve Your Workers’ Comp Program and Save Money
Workers’ compensation insurance is an essential tool to keep your employees healthy and working at their jobs. As with all tools, it must be used correctly and thoughtfully in order to get its job done. The following steps will help to improve your workers’ comp related results and, at the same time, save you money:
1. Make sure your employee classifications are correct. There are 500 to 600 job classifications to choose from, and getting the best fit possible can mean getting the lowest rate possible. For example, an administrative assistant in an auto body shop should not be classified as a body shop worker.
2. Develop relationships with medical providers who specialize in occupational medicine. Your agent can help you identify physicians who have the right training and who will get to know your business, the type of work performed and the best treatments for your workers.
3. Have a system in place to make sure injured employees get immediate medical care. Make sure injured employees get immediate medical attention so they can get the care they need and return to the job as soon as possible.
4. Use data to control losses. Review your workers’ comp loss runs and OSHA logs regularly with your broker to assess ways to improve your systems, processes, training and other factors that can reduce future losses. Also, pay attention to data about the kinds of accidents typical for your type of business and develop ways to foresee and mitigate claims before they occur.
5. Be prepared for your annual workers’ comp premium audit. Have a list of all employees, their hours, duties, payroll classifications and payroll. You should also list all job descriptions and differentiate between employees and independent contractors.
6. Review your company’s Annual Unit Statistical Report. The Unit Statistical Report is the evaluation of losses and other information your insurance company submits to its rating bureau each year. It’s important to review this data carefully because if the insurance company sets a very high reserve on any of your claims or keeps open claims that should be closed, your experience modification factor will go up, increasing your premium.
7. Develop a "light duty" or "recovery at work" program for injured employees. If an employee returns to work before lost-time wages start, this can cut costs and reduce the impact on your experience factor. More importantly, injured workers recover faster if they remain working, even if the work is different from their regular job.
8. Check whether a claim might be eligible for second injury funds. More than 20 states have "second injury funds" that pay benefits to workers when an injury aggravates a pre-existing permanent health condition. When you have an employee with a permanent impairment who suffers a second injury, you are responsible for compensating only the most recent injury. Many employers fail to realize this, often spending thousands of dollars more than they need to.
9. Remember to ask your agent for help. Your agent is your best asset for help implementing any of these loss control and premium saving ideas.
The Insurance professionals of EPIC’s CRA ProRental Insurance Program are always there to help. Please call us at: 800.234.6369.