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Workers Comp Training – One Thing You Cannot Teach Anyone

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Workers Comp Training Cannot Touch This One Area

Many times,  Workers Comp training can teach someone how to technically perform a task to a level of excellence.  One area that still seems to appear more often frustrates insureds, agents, claimants, or any other person involved in the insurance process from obtaining a policy to adjusting a claim.

pic of no touch warning workers comp training
Picture – Public Domain

Many premium auditors have told me this one “untrainable” item makes their job much easier on a daily basis.  The same can be said for any insurance industry employee including claims adjusters.

I have written an article on IT – not insurance technology.   IT covers what an adjuster needs to excel in their job.  IT never comes from Workers Comp training.   The part of IT that adjusters must have applies to anyone in insurance.

First impressions do count.  This one non-trainable attribute can be seen within moments of meeting someone or talking with them on the phone.  Emails can soften how this one asset or liability.

Workers Comp Training vs Built-In Component

The one attribute from an insurance worker that survives and prospers remains to this day – workplace attitude or just plain attitude.   I ran into this situation last week.   I had contacted an adjuster by phone for an agency client.

Adjuster Contact

Old telephone workers comp training color black
Wikimedia Commons – Berit from Redhill/Surrey, UK

I violated my only contact adjusters by email recommendation.  I did not have their email address.  Most claim systems will give you the adjuster’s name, email address, and phone number.   This major Workers Comp carrier did not provide even basic info.

The adjuster’s attitude was not what I would recommend on a phone call.  I usually run into this situation approximately once every 18 months.   He said that he could not give out info on the phone as the file was in litigation even after being informed that I was calling for the agent that sold this carrier’s policy.

OK, so he was being protective of the file information likely due to HIPPA.  The glaring deficiency was not giving out the info.  The claims adjuster was well-trained or had many years of experience.   This attribute was obvious.  However, the attitude was one where I had to report it back to the agent-client.

The renewal is in September.  Will this subject come up at renewal?  The insured is hopping-mad.  We shall see.

Supervisor Contact

Let us look at a different scenario.  One of my employer-clients asked me to contact the adjuster on a group of claims for status updates.   The adjuster had abruptly left,  and the supervisor was handling the claims (not well) temporarily.   She said that she would do what she could to find out the statuses and email them to me as she worked on each claim.

I needed them quickly.  The attitude that she showed over the phone instilled patience in me.  The one key to attitude showed up the next morning.  I had three statuses emailed to me.  The supervisor started them at 6 AM.  Attitude does carry over to work ethic.

No workers comp training would cause the supervisor to handle my call well and to start the next morning at 6 AM to begin forwarding statuses.  I sent the employer-client an email explaining the situation.  All is well due to customer service and attitude.

Workers Comp Training Can Broach Not Teach Customer Service Attitude

Customer Service workers comp training Area
Wikimedia Commons – NAIDdfa AHAMMO

I could cover so many of these situations over the last 30 years.  The one saving grace for me when I made mistakes was to keep a positive customer service-based attitude in emails, phone calls, and in-person meetings.  Even when I had made a mistake, I was given a pass most of the time.

A great customer service attitude applies to all areas of insurance.  Insurance is a service business.

I have seen many Workers Comp training manuals have a section on customer service.  I have never seen any training manuals discuss a positive attitude.

 

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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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