Workers Comp Policy – Reading It Worth Time And Effort

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Workers Comp Policy Should Be Read In-house

Reading your workers comp policy may not seem really worth your time.  After all, is that not your agent’s job?

Graphic Of Insurance Workers Comp Policy Icon On Shield
(c) stockunlimited

 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 workers 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 question to ask their agent and/or carrier.

Picture Of Businesswoman Writing Workers Comp Policy Endorsement
(c) stockunlimited

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 workers 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 is when you receive the endorsement.

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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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