Workers Comp Records Storage For Documents
Workers Comp records storage tends to be one of the least mentioned subjects.
One of my blog readers from California asks how long should records for Workers Comp be stored before being destroyed.
My answer actually applies to all states with all types of Workers Compensation coverage – even self insureds.
My opinion is that no insurance documents of any type, whether or not it is pertaining to Workers Comp should ever be destroyed. Back in the prior years, destroying documents after 10 years might have been OK to keep from drowning in paper. With the advent of multi-page scanners, there is no reason to have any documents on paper for many years. I recommend scanning all documents more than seven years old and saving them to a pen-drive or a thumb drive. This includes the associated payroll records. I recommend then backing up the pen-drive or thumb drive with burning a CD of the information.
Why would I recommend saving insurance documents more than 5 years old? We are now reviewing the premiums for insureds in West Virginia and New Jersey that involved old contractor sub-contractor agreements. The one that we are reviewing in New Jersey requires us to go back 11 years, as there was an ownership change that will likely make a difference on how the companies are structured. This makes a big difference on the client’s Workers Compensation premiums right up to today.
We have some clients that scan everything and are basically paperless. That is a great way to save space, aggravation, and paper. The main thing we recommended to those clients is to backup the scans to two different backup places.
If your company does not have a multi-page scanner, you can purchase one very reasonably on EBay. Most copiers now have scanning capabilities, even the low-end budget all-in-one machines.
Why I posted on this subject is the lack of documentation of prior Workers Compensation information has cost some of our clients dearly. A thumb drive has saved me many times when I needed old data.
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