Loss control and safety traditionally have been an important component of an insurer''s service to business policyholders. Insurers, however, can vary greatly on the emphasis they place on loss control by helping their clients reduce workplace accidents and subsequent workers'' compensation costs.
The Wisconsin Division of Workers'' Compensation suggests employers use this checklist as a tool to determine the effectiveness of their workers'' compensation insurance carriers:
- Your insurer explains the company''s loss control services within 30 days of the beginning of the policy period. It features safety in its communications with you.
- For policyholders with regularly occurring lost-time claims, the insurer offers to meet with you at your business location to discuss safety, loss control and claims administration.
- Your carrier helps you communicate your loss control, accident investigation, medical care and return-to-work programs to your entire work force to foster employee involvement and buy-in.
- The insurer provides written guidelines on prompt and accurate reporting of all potential policy claims. Specialized forms for the administration of claims are provided to all policyholders, with easy-to-read instructions about how to file a claim.
- Your insurer offers safety information in written and oral form for hazards peculiar to your industry or processes. A good carrier should be alert to your special risks and advise you to correct these hazards before they result in injuries.
- The insurance claims adjuster should make every effort to contact the injured worker as quickly as possible after notice of a lost-time injury. The adjuster should fully explain to the injured worker how and when medical care will be provided and paid for by the insurer.
- Your insurance claims adjuster reviews with a member of your staff the results of contact with the employee and medical providers, and any other investigations begun.
- The insurer provides a detailed loss run. The frequency of loss reports depends on the volume of clams.
- Your insurer assists you in developing light-duty and modified-duty programs. It is active in facilitating communication with the treating physician on return-to-work options.
Do not hesitate to contact your workers'' compensation insurance provider to discuss how it can work with your company in reducing work-related injuries. Remember, when purchasing workers'' compensation insurance, you are not merely buying indemnification for losses. You are purchasing a bundle of services, some of which can greatly affect the welfare of your company and its employees.
by Todd Nighswonger