Workers Comp Self Insurance Risk – The $250,000 Repetitive Mega Claims
I sometimes forget to mention the self insurance side of Workers Comp Risk Management. A certain Workers Comp self insurance risk conversation seldom occurs in voluntary insurance vs. self insurance decisions.
Voluntary insurance may seem like an unused commodity when a premium is paid by a large company but little or no claims are ever filed. Self insurance may seem like the best course of action to save on premiums.
Most of the time, this angle on Workers Comp risk management may be very accurate. The other side of the proverbial coin that seems to be ignored is when a company must face multiple mega claims.
A mega claim as defined by the rating bureaus is any claim that has reached an incurred value of $3,000,000. I consider any mega claim that reaches $250,000. As I have often mentioned, $250,000 is an almost magic number where many file functions kick in at that level.
Reinsurance is Not Catch-All Insurance
Many self insureds have mentioned to me that “We are good, reinsurance kicks in at $250,000”. This may be true. With the COVID crisis and the lowering of company budgets – do you really have $250,000 to spend before the next level of insurance?
If your company or organization has two or three claims that have reached the $250,000 level, the level of self-funding can be very tough in this economy. Renewing your reinsurance policy may have a sharp premium increase surprise.
Why am I writing this article – because I have that situation right in front of me – where a medium-sized company is funding $750,000 for three claims out-of-pocket when their financials cannot support such a large budget output.
Using a few risk management claim techniques, some of the risks can be reduced – however, not all of the risk can be eliminated through loss control.
Loss Limits and X-Mods
One aspect of voluntary insurance is Loss Limitations. The loss limits control how much the X-Mods can be affected by one claim. If you look on your Experience Modification Factor sheets, the # sign denotes that a loss limitation has occurred on a certain claim. The # sign is usually located in the Total Incurred Column.
The loss limits can be very high – well beyond $250,000. They function similarly to reinsurance if you think about it for a moment. They cut your losses at a certain point.
My point here is that at least there is a ceiling (in most states) how your X-Mod can be affected over the next four years. That is not the case if you with Loss Development Factors (LDF). Think of an LDF as a self insurance Mod.
Voluntary Insurance and the Workers Comp Self Insurance Risk
Voluntary insurance may seem much more expensive than the self insurance option – then again maybe not if you experience multiple large claims.
Here is a very important point – the insurance carrier remains on the hook to handle and pay the benefits on multiple mega claims. Your X-Mod increases, then again, it may be a cheaper option than paying $750,000 straight out of your budget as in the previous example.
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