12 Things You Can Do to Hold Down the Costs of your Workers’ Comp Program
It is a truism in insurance that past experience drives future premium costs. The goal is therefore to be as loss free as humanly possible. The best way to mitigate Workers’ Comp costs is to prevent claims in the first place. OMG—this seems like a blinding flash of the obvious! The least expensive claim is the one you don’t have.
- Make your written Safety Program meaningful. [More on that later]
- Make sure you have a good training program for new employees, one that has the overt support of top management.
- Train your supervisors to think loss prevention, and sensitize them to the costs of claims.
- Make safety meetings regular, and frequency should reflect your type of work. In construction, you may need shorter meetings, but weekly. In manufacturing, you may need monthly meetings.
- Make your prevention program transparent and make accountability part of the evaluation of management effectiveness.
- Use all resources at your disposal to continue to improve. Such resources will include those of your broker, your insurer, and online resources.
Once the loss occurs, the attention turns to loss control. Even with the most diligent efforts at prevention, losses will occur. The question is how we manage for optimum outcomes after the loss—we want the valuable employee back to work and fully recovered as soon as possible.
- Stay involved with the injured workers—they are still your employees. Don’t make the mistake of mentally assuming that the injured worker is temporarily employed by your Workers’ Comp carrier!
- get involved with the claims adjuster. Be an active part of the claims management, including goals for medical care, rehab and return to work programs.
- Have an aggressive Return to Work program. Keeping employees at work, even with modified duty, is always preferable to sitting at home and watching lawyer ads on TV.
- Review open claims on a regular basis. The longer a claim is open, the worse it gets. It’s important that the claims adjuster knows you are paying attention and are following up.
- Hold an annual review of claims prior to insurance carrier reporting to the WCIRB for annual recalculation of the Experience Modification rate.
- Pay attention and maintain vigilance. A good business is a dynamic environment—things are always changing. Don’t assume that what has worked in the past will continue to work as effectively in the future.