What To Do With Your WC Policy At Renewal
Reviewing your WC policy at renewal is critical.
One area I see that employers (public or private) could possibly improve their Workers Compensation strategy is when your agent provides your policy before renewal. There are many methods you can use at the time of renewal to help reduce your Workers Comp costs. Two articles on Workers Comp cost reduction are here and here. The second link avoids buying an insurance policy from an overloaded agent.
One of the best ways to make sure you know what is in your Workers Comp policy is to basically go old school. Print it out with all of the attachments. Take out a highlighter and go line by line. Remember, this is not after you have renewed your policy, but before signing or paying for anything. One of our old mottoes was – Do Not Just Write A Check.
If there is something that looks odd, confusing, or questionable – highlight it. There are very interesting clauses in the policy’s back pages. An insurance policy is a contract of faith. You are putting your faith in the insurance company to provide your injured employees with proper and timely benefits. The carrier has put faith in your company that you will abide by the policy. In my humble opinion, insurance contracts are one of the most unread and overlooked in existence.
After you have read through your policy and highlighted certain parts, you should send your agent an email asking about the policy. You can cut and paste into an email directly from PDF documents in most cases. As I have recommended with contacting adjusters, do not call your agent out of the blue. Emails will give them time to respond to your queries. If you still are unsure after receiving back the responses from the agent, there are many Workers Comp insurance consultants that will be more than glad to help you.
One area that has specific rules in your Workers Comp policies is in the area of premium disputes. If you do not follow them directly and timely, you may be out of luck if you find an area that you question.
I have found a very troubling area is that there are a few agent groups that do not provide full policies to their clients. I am not inferring that there is something wrong with this arrangement. However, you are signing off on and paying for something you have not even read.
Please make sure that these parts of a Workers Comp policy are included for you to read. As I have said often in this blog, 99.99% of all carriers and agents are very honest. Most of the mistakes we see are due to an unintentional oversight. Unintentional oversights are just as costly as the intentional ones.
A heavy review of your WC policy at renewal time will save you many headaches in the future.
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