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Workers Comp Reserves – Large Reader Response


Workers Comp Reserves – The Skinny

An article this week on Workers Comp reserves generated a huge response. I was going to post on Class Codes 8810 and 8742. This blog had the largest one-day total of visitors ever earlier this week.

I will cover more material on reserving in this post. Thanks to all of our new visitors, daily readers, and newsletter readers. If you are reading this and want to receive our weekly newsletter of blog posts, the signup button is down the page on the right side.

Picture of Hand Draw Workers Comp Reserves Graphic

Reserving is an art of sorts. As I told three different reporters this week, we all heal much differently. Our healing and return to work abilities vary as much as our DNA varies – a great amount.

I received a large number of inquiries from employers on how to reduce or control the reserves on a single file or group of files. This is very difficult without at least 5 years of Workers Comp adjusting experience. Each state has its guidelines on Workers Compensation, so how does an adjuster keep up with multiple states? It is very difficult at best.

I am going to let you in on a little secret. There is a person who has COMPLETE control over your Workers Comp budget. Is it the actuary, agent, underwriter, or loss prevention rep? It is your workers comp adjuster. If you do not have a working relationship with your Workers Comp adjuster, you are burning through cash quickly. Why?

Picture Passing Secret Message Workers Comp Reserves The Skinny 

The only unregulated part of the Workers Comp insurance premium process is the reserves that an adjuster sets on the files. I have dealt with laws and regulations in over 30 different states. I have yet to see rules on how an adjuster sets reserves on a file. There are volumes on how the claims adjusting staff is to handle claims, but nothing is on the books for reserves. I have seen many lawsuits on how claims have been handled but only a very few on how the claims were reserved.

How do you establish a working relationship with your Workers Comp adjuster? This post is getting long. I will leave that for the next one. Class Codes 8810 and 8742 will have to wait.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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