Communication- It Can Help You Lower Work Comp Costs
As simple as it appears that simple word is a major barrier when it comes to workers’ compensation claims. However, if your employees and supervisors don’t know what is expected of them when an injury occurs you are likely paying more than you should for your workers’ compensation coverage.
While employers spend money on loss control efforts, incentive programs and safety programs they often fail in one of the key areas to help control workers’ compensation costs. Yes, it is important to focus on injury prevention but that isn’t enough. There are two more areas that employers need to focus on, managing the injury and managing the return-to-work process.
Injury reporting is a key factor in shaping the outcome of an employee injury. The sooner an injury is reported, the sooner medical assessment can be made available, and the sooner an employee is on the right track to recovery. It has been proven in several studies that lag time directly impacts the costs of claims. It is imperative that you stress to employees and supervisors that any employee injury be reported immediately. This not only benefits the employer but it will benefit the injured worker as well.
Does your injured employee understand what will happen when they are injured? If you are not providing them with a pre-made injury packet you should contact us to learn more how effective they can be. This can help the employee understand the process, your expectations, return-to-work policies, and help reduce any possible frustration with you, the doctor, or the insurance company. It can help develop trust and show the employee that you care as well in addition to demonstrating to them your commitment to work related claims. There are other key components to the injury packet but it is important to remember that outlining the expectations can help you lower claim costs.
When the injury is reported what steps are you taking to ensure the injured worker can return to work as soon as possible? It is crucial that communication is set up with the injured worker, the doctor, the claims adjuster, supervisors, and your agent to help ensure the injured worker can get back as soon as possible. If this isn’t done correctly it directly impacts the cost of the claim and your company’s bottom line.
Did you know something as simple as sending a card or making a phone call to an injured work at home can help get that person back to work sooner? Often after an injury the employee may not feel wanted or cared about and showing them that you do care can help. More often than not the reason an injured employee seeks an attorney is because they feel they weren’t wanted by their employer.
The communication channels must be along several fronts. Communication from top management to supervisors, supervisors to employees, employee to doctor, return-to-work coordinator to doctor, return-to-work coordinator to employee, return-to-work coordinator to claim adjuster and so on. Does your current agent/broker have a claims advocate assisting you the injury management process from start to finish like UNICO does?
There is so much more to workers’ compensation than just having a policy. Take steps to look for a broker that is considered an expert with workers’ compensation. It will help you increase your profitability. UNICO Group is proud that we were named the National Work Comp Agency of the Year in 2010 by the Institute of Work Comp Professionals.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn how we can help you. There are many companies that can attest to how we have helped them.