Even companies with experience modifier scores of over four, meaning that they’re paying 400% more in premiums than the average business, can change if they are willing to. To achieve this, it’s vital to start education across all levels of staff about what workers’ compensation is and how losses can impact their business by directly hitting their bottom line as well as affecting their personal safety.
Denny Weimer, Director of Loss Control at Rockwood, explains: “We might illustrate this with the example of a gold mining client where a team member tears a rotator cuff: Not only has one of their colleagues suffered a preventable injury, but they’ve also just mined a substantial amount of gold effectively ‘for free’ because of the costs that will incur. We would follow this up by talking to employees on the floor about both the financial and the human aspect. This is imperative so that everyone can work together.”
What should then follow at any company is a thorough inspection to identify hazards and to begin the process of preventing accidents. Rockwood can take advantage of their small teams to get really involved, but it is important to do this work with the policyholder so that they feel they have ownership of the process. Sometimes four or five different solutions to a particular risk may be considered to overcome the fact that the obvious route may be seen as very costly (although necessary) or face resistance from employees who have become used to previous procedures.
Weimer points out: “We’re making an investment in our policyholders because it’s good for both sides. When businesses are having loss issues, we set up mutual goals, and when they reach those, it’s important to celebrate that. Employees need to embrace change and make it happen, so then it is also vital to engage them in the recognition and acknowledge their efforts.”
Claims and the personal touch
No matter how hard policyholders and insurers work together, accidents do happen. That is when it’s critical to have a claims service that is based on rapid response and communication. While there is some cynicism among the public about insurers paying claims, it’s important to remember that 95% of claims are legitimate and that when people are injured and have a valid insurance policy, they should get the best care available.