Work Comp Policy Should Be Read In-house
Reading your work comp policy may not seem really worth your time. After all, is that not your agent’s job?
Actually, it is your or someone in your company’s unique responsibility. Nowhere in any WC policy does it instruct or even advise you that your agent read your policy. Your business has processes in it that only you and your staff know fully. Yes, there are rare agents that may read your policy, but they are not at your business every workday. Many companies have just renewed their work comp policy on January 1st. Even though your company may not be one of them, it may be a good time to sit down and read it from the front to the back. Other than right after a premium audit, we receive the most calls and emails right after an employer reviews their policy.
Why? Because there is “more under the hood” than the car you purchased and signed without thinking twice. If you do not have time to read the whole policy, at least read the Dec or Declarations page(s).
The Dec page is what differentiates your company from all the other policyholders.
One of the oddest recommendations that I give out in speeches is to read the policy back to front. Your WC or any other type of policy was built from the beginning pages to the end. The employers that read the policies from the back end up with a list of questions to ask their agent and/or carrier.
Using a highlighter and writing down any questions will put your company light years ahead of many employers. It is also a very low-priced avenue to savings. In other words, read the fine print first for any questions you may have for your agent. If your agent cannot answer those questions, it may be best to check elsewhere to have your questions answered in full.
The real shocker is sometimes the policyholder has never seen their work comp policy. One has to be issued, so it should be a part of your company’s primary paperwork.
If your company receives any policy endorsements, it is recommended that you read them on receipt and match them up to the section of your policy that is being endorsed for clarification. Most of the time, endorsements mean very little to the policy.
However, there can be endorsements that actually add a premium to the policy. These endorsement scans can be billed to your company immediately. The premiums may be collected at the time of the premium audit. The time to question any endorsed premium increases in your work comp policy is when you receive the endorsement.
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