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Travel and Expense Charges to Reserves (T&E) – Check Figure


Travel and Expense Charges to Reserves – Controversial Subject

Travel and expense charges to reserves create many questions on how to handle these in the files.

Graphic Of Airplane And Suit Case Travel and Expense Charges Different Country On Globe

There is one set of charges to reserves that employers should be aware of whether self-insured or not. Travel and Expense charges should always be absorbed by Workers Comp insurance carrier.

These charges should have been negotiated into the premiums paid in regular commercial policies. The same is true for self-insureds. In some of our reviews, we have seen adjusters charging off their expenses incurred into the file, usually under the Expense reserves.

Unless there is some type of hybrid agreement between the insured and the insurance company, these charges SHOULD never show up in the reserves of a file or the adjustment costs of a TPA. The T&E expenses may not be that apparent if you are reviewing the reserves or the payments made by the insurance carrier.

These expenses are sometimes referred to as LAE (Loss Adjustment Expenses) or ULAE (Unallocated Loss Adjustment Expenses). Once again, these are calculated into the premiums or TPA costs before a policy or TPA agreement is issued. An employer should not have to pay these expenses twice.

There are a few other expenses that have concerned me when reviewing Workers Comp files that should not be covered by the reserves or TPA costs. I will cover those next time.

2019 Update – We have seen many large deductible policies where the carrier included these expenses as part of the ALAE.  Review the large deductible side agreements very closely for travel and expense charges.

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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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