Workers Compensation was significantly hit by a down economy and shrinking payrolls over the last five to six years, with an estimated 25% of all premiums evaporated. Additionally, loss frequency is up, claims severity continues to increase as employees aren’t getting back to work quickly, drug usage is affecting return-to-work statistics, and medical expenses continue to be a significant cost driver.
There has been a shift, however, occurring in the Workers Comp market. State Workers Comp insurers across the country are increasing rates or filing for increases. Private carriers are also following suit, needing to raise rates to turn their losses around. As rates begin to inch up, what can you do to help your customers’ manage their Workers Comp costs and keep premiums at bay? Here are some tips you can provide to your business clients:
- Start with the hiring process. Educate yourself on hiring techniques designed to help mitigate the possibility of bringing on an employee who is not a match for the position or the company. Be sure to review a resume prior to the interview to look for any gaps in employment history so that you can discover the reasons for these gaps. Get a feel for the candidate’s work ethic with open-ended questions about his/her attendance record with past employers. Ask safety-related questions about the position or job in question and how they would perform their responsibilities. Review previous job-related injuries, Workers Comp claims. Verify education and previous employment. And check references. This seems so basic but many employers don’t do this.
- Implement an employee orientation and training program to help reduce occupational injuries. These programs are critical since studies have shown that new and less experienced employees have a disproportionately higher likelihood of being injured on the job.
- Implement injury prevention and pre-loss controls to cut costs and increase profits. Research has shown that an organization that invests in safety often more than doubles its return on investment by reducing both its insured and uninsured Workers Compensation costs. Safety and health programs are widely known to provide a safety culture that contributes to increased morale, less absenteeism, fewer injuries and illnesses, and decreased insurance costs.
- Incorporate a wellness program to address changing demographics in the workplace, which includes a heavier and older workforce. Healthy employees are less likely to be absent and more likely to perform when they are feeling well both physically and emotionally.
- Establish procedures and specific rules for employees and their supervisors to follow in the event of a workplace injury. This helps to assure that the injured employee quickly receives appropriate care so that the severity of the loss is minimized. Implementing a post injury-process so that employees know exactly what to do in the event of a workplace injury can have a big impact on the result of a Workers Comp claim.
Caitlin-Morgan can provide you with access to Workers Comp insurance, and help you help your clients get control over their ever-increasing costs. Just call us at 877.226.1027.