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Reviewing Your Workers Comp Policy At Renewal – Is It Really Worth It?

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What To Do With Your WC Policy At Renewal

Reviewing your WC policy at renewal is critical.

picture of insurance Policy At Renewal concept
123RF

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.

Business People Policy At Renewal Giving Thumbs Up
StockUnlimited

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.

Vector Graphic Of Two Man Shaking Hands Insurance Policy At Renewal Concept
(c) 123rf.com

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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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt 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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