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Workers Compensation Coverage Verification Websites – Are They Worth It?

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WC Coverage Verification Websites = Not Found In Some Cases

The coverage verification websites for Workers Compensation turned out to be disappointing.  I received a WCIRB (Workers Comp rating organization for California) announcing that as of March 1, 2012 all coverage for Workers Compensation for the last five years was available. The captcha to get in the site was a little irritating, but likely a necessary evil so that a robo-logger could not pull all the data from the website.

Graphic Of Box Coverage Verification Bar Code Using Magnifying Glass
StockUnlimited

I decided to give it a run with one of our client’s information. I attempted to look up their info on 3/2/2012. The info said “not found”. I tried again today and it worked fine. However, the client’s data that should have been updated since November 2011 was not logged yet. That is still OK. You can find the CA policy info here

I then decided to try the same in our HQ state. North Carolina’s verification worked fine and was up to date using one of our client’s data. I then tried different states’ coverage verification with mixed results.

The first time that I had heard that Workers Comp coverage verification info was available for any person that could access the web, I was somewhat concerned about releasing that info to the general public.

I have seen coverage verification work very well in one area. Some of our clients ask us to aid them in verifying that their subcontractors have valid insurance. The websites were great as we (or our clients) did not have to go through the heavily laborious process of calling every agent and/or carrier on every Workers Comp certificate of insurance. This avoids the Ladder of Insurance claims that occur often in the case of subcontractors.

 

Picture Of Hand Presenting Coverage Verification Using Magnifying Glass
StockUnlimited

The area I am not sure serves a great purpose is that if an employee wants to file a claim against their employer, they can go around their employer. I do realize there may be an isolated case of an employer not reporting they claim when filed, but I think that is a very rare case with all the penalties an employer faces for not reporting claims. I may be looking at it from the wrong viewpoint.

Overall, I think coverage verification websites are more than a necessary evil. Check out the Ladder of Insurance link above to see what can happen if you do not verify your subcontractor’s certificates of insurance.

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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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