2018 Workers Comp Resolutions – Look Back At 2017 Resolutions

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2018 Workers Comp Resolutions Are 2017 Refinements

My 2018 Workers Comp Resolutions must start with, of course, the 2017 Resolutions.  BTW, Self Insureds will be on the dais next week.   So, let us get to it.   The thirteen 2017 resolutions were: (sorry if you have triskaidekaphobia).

Group Of 2018 Workers Comp Resolutions Picture
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  1.  Understanding the mechanics of the WC process – from the start of the policy renewal until the final premium audit – read everything that has to do with the policy.  Most of the process is laid out in the policy.  A highlighter is your best tool. 
  2. Following the Six Keys to Workers Comp Savings – the prior link has all of them. 
  3. Knowing where every dollar is going when you write a premium check – Old Motto – Stop Just Writing Checks
  4. Having your Workers Comp Rating Bureau Experience Mod Worksheets at your fingertips – can change often in one year. 
  5. Retaining your WC info permanently – electronic media is the easy way to go – scans are best 
  6. Knowing the adjusters that work on your files beyond just a name
  7. Letting the Adjuster know that you follow the Six Keys in #2 above. 
  8. Relating to #1 – Understanding your Unit Statistical Date to not waste time at the end of the year. 
  9. Not renewing policies on January 1st or July 1st. 
  10. Reading the newsletter that J&L provides almost every week.   You may sign up at the top right of this page. 
  11. Bonus – having a working relationship with your agent, not just at renewal.
  12. Another Bonus – take any class or attend any meeting or seminar that your insurance carrier offers to you. 
  13. Last Bonus – Safety is the key to staying out of the Work Comp system. 

2018 Workers Comp Resolutions List

Writing 2018 Workers Comp Resolutions On Notes
Wikimedia – Photos public domain.com

The point by point review of 2017 will help complete the 2018 Worker Comp resolutions list.   Yes, the 2018 Workers Comp resolutions are just making sure you covered the 2017 ones completely.

  1. Grab your policy – the first step in #1 above – Read it.  It is boring.   I agree.   Read it all the way through like a book.   There are many surprises in there such as audit rules.  How about the Endorsements you may have received after the policy commenced?   You may have received many Endorsements.   You cannot go any further until you take this first step.   No, honestly, you have to read the policy.  If you do not have the time, can you delegate the task? 
  2. Print out the Six Keys page from above.  Did you do any of those?  The Keys contain a large amount of premium savings.  Yes, you have my permission to print them.     Those Six Keys take some work.  Once they are in place, the job to sustain them becomes easier. 
  3. Did you understand your Work Comp Premium audit?  If so, then writing the premium check becomes an easier process.   Check with #4 before mailing that premium check. 

    Picture of Woman Holding Files And Pencil
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  4. On your premium audit bill, sometimes called a Premium Audit Statement, did you see the Experience Modification premium?  Anything above a 1.0 is a debit mod that costs your company extra premium.   In other words, you have created your own quasi-tax on your company
  5. .  Have you looked at your Experience Mod Sheets?  Check with NCCI, WCIRB, or the appropriate rating bureau or contact us.   Those sheets explain how your Mod was calculated right down to the Total Incurred
  6. Where are your last 5 years of Workers Compensation information?   Did you scan it into a thumb drive?   One day you will thank yourself for doing that one easy task.  You may need to reference it quickly at some time in the future. 
  7. Did you call your Workers Comp adjusters and introduce yourself?   Why not?  That alone can save you premium dollars.   Communication is the key in Workers Comp.  After that first call, email, not text, the adjusters working on the files.   Get their email addresses when you call.   You will be glad to not have to dig for an adjuster’s email address if you need to inform them of a claim development or send them an attachment ASAP.   Emailing is always the preferred contact method as your emails become file documentation for you and the claims adjuster.

    Woman Calculating 2018 Workers Comp Resolutions With Papers
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  8. During that conversation, did you let them know that you follow the Six Keys from above?  The first three of the Six Keys are critical for adjusters to know that you are doing those tasks.  
  9. Do you have a claims review scheduled for the end of the year or at policy renewal?   You may be wasting your time.   If you want the reserves lowered, that should coincide with your Unit Statistical Date.   A claims review at renewal does little good, but then again a claims review with the claims staff is never a bad thing to do at any time.
  10. Think of renewing your policy on January 1st or July 1st the same as flying on the Holidays.  The airports are crowded which naturally brings down the service level.    Check with your agent to get the date changed if you renew on those dates.  
  11. The newsletter is a freebie.   You can even look for it on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.  Signing up for it takes one minute.   I usually write two to three articles a week and throw in a Classic or a post that went viral.  We published the newsletter Thursdays at 2 PM Eastern time.
  12.  The relationship with your agent should not be based on talking to them on the phone a few days before renewal.   You are paying them to address your policy questions.   Do not be shy.   Almost all agents welcome an email every now and then from their clients.  

    Couple With Agent 2018 Workers Comp Resolutions In Apartment
    StockUnlimited
  13. I am writing this while the NWCDC annual conference in Las Vegas is occurring this year.   It is one to attend if you are serious about Workers Comp.  Just be ready for the number of people that attend this conference.   Most carriers offer some type of Workers Comp training.   Even if the training is a webinar, it will always be worth the time spent.  If your carrier offers anything on loss prevention or safety, sign up for it immediately.   Check out this article for 24 free webinars.
  14. The best way to keep a claim from costing your company premiums is by not having a claim in the system.  Safety is the key.  Your Experience Modification Factor can be thought of as a safety score.   The safety score can be much more difficult to change without patience and a long-term view by the company. 

The 2018 Workers Comp resolutions are not anywhere near an exhaustive list.  The resolutions were drawn from what I had in front of me in late 2016 and early 2017. 

The Workers Comp self-insured resolutions will be covered next week.  Many of my Risk Management friends, clients, and acquaintances always remind me to include the self-insurance market.   I have to agree with them that 2018 Workers Comp Resolutions should apply to self-insureds. 

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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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