Holding the Line on Workers' Comp Costs: A Checklist for Managing Comp Claims

Expert outlines how aggressive handling of workers' compensation claims can reduce losses and lower insurance costs.

In a seminar attended by leading Las Vegas construction company executives, Jack Schreiner of S & C Claims Services outlined how aggressive claims handling can reduce their losses and lower worker's compensation costs for insurance companies. Schreiner manages claims for Nevada Contractors Insurance, the second largest worker's comp insurer in Nevada.

"Insurance costs were already on the way up," Schreiner told the executives. "With the events of Sept. 11, costs will increase even more. You, as employers, have to hold costs down since every dollar of worker's compensation money comes right out of your pocket." Schreiner offered employers information on exactly what they can do to better manage their worker's compensation claims:

  • Drug test injured workers. In Nevada, a positive drug test can reason for denying a claim. NCI has denied approximately 10 to 12 percent of claims since 1995, at a savings of some $4 million dollars.
  • Contact key people in the wake of a serious accident. If you have a safety person, call him and have him go to the job site and investigate the accident. Call your insurance company and agent right away. The more information gathered at the time of the accident, the better the chances of revealing inconsistencies in the story that may indicate fraud.
  • If you doubt the validity of a claim, say so. If the employee has a history of motorcycle racing on the weekends and reports an injury Monday morning, your insurance company needs to know that;
  • Fill out all paperwork. Schreiner says NCI uses a "claims packet" that features statements from injured worker, witnesses and supervisors. Such paperwork allows the employer to see exactly where, when and how the accident occurred and what to do to prevent such events in the future.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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