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Workers Comp File Reserves – You May Be Running Late


Workers Comp File Reserves Timing Important

I try to post information on Workers Comp file reserves this time of year. Why? The majority of Worker Compensation policies renew on January 1st. 

Stack Workers Comp File Reserves files
Wikimedia Commons – Daniel R. Blume

The Unit Stat date for those policies is 7/01/11. Your companies Unit Stat date will occur 6 months AFTER your policy expiration date.It will not count for the current or prior policy year.

The Unit Stat date pegs your E-Mod reserves for the NEXT policy period. As posted often in this blog, my advice is to start your Workers Comp reserve reduction strategies by Mid-March, at the latest. Trying to negotiate reserves at the last minute with an insurance carrier will be an exercise in frustration.

The SECRET is knowing which claim reserves to negotiate and which to leave alone.Stirring up interest in the wrong file may cause a reserve increase instead of a decrease.If you have your loss runs handy or can obtain them online, then you have saved yourself two weeks in obtaining them.

Picture Of Hand Passing Workers Comp File Reserves Secret Letter

Unfortunately, there is no structured answer on which files to examine and which to leave alone. As you look over the loss run, it is best to know the current medical status of your injured employees. There may possibly be a valid reason for an extremely high reserve figure.

If you have access to the adjuster notes, they will sometimes suffice for an actual medical status. If you have to obtain a medical or claims status from an adjuster, use email.   Never call an adjuster saying that your company’s reserves are too high.  You need some type of number analysis to substantiate your position. 

Calling an adjuster went out of style ten years ago. I do not recommend texting an adjuster. That is too informal.

The bottom line is to get started NOW on your E-Mod for NEXT Year. You may be already running 17 days behind.  

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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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