If you have a high frequency of workers' compensation insurance claims due to the nature of business you are in, then asking your independent insurance agent how to do a return to work program to cut costs is a great start to putting money back in your pocket.
Your independent insurance agent is the knight in shining armor when it comes to lowering your insurance premiums. They work for you and know what the insurance carriers are looking for when it comes to safety and risk minimization.
What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Workers’ compensation insurance is a policy taken out by the employer to cover:
- Medical injuries
- Mental health injuries
All these injuries and illnesses happen while on the job or are a result of problematic working conditions. This policy will save the employer from paying out of pocket or being personally sued due to an employee getting injured while working. It also pays for employee wages usually up to two-thirds of their regular pay while they are recovering.
What Is a Return to Work Program, and How Does It Work?
A return to work program is when an employer allows a W-2 employee to come back to work in a light-duty capacity outside of their regular job functions while they are recovering from a work injury, illness, or mental disability.
This can be as simple as a factory worker being switched to administrative duties while their broken leg heals. Or moving an employee in a high-stress task such as project manager to a less stressful duty of answering phones or checking people in, allowing the employee to recover.
Benefits of implementing a return to work program:
- Saving money on your workers’ compensation premiums: Having a return to work program in place will show the workers’ compensation carrier that you mean business. In workers’ compensation it’s not the frequency of claims that you have, but the length that they stay open that affects your overall premiums.
- It's better for your employees: Having a return to work program in place will get your employees to feel more productive and recover faster instead of wallowing in isolation at home.
- Retention of employees: The sooner you get your employees back to some form of work, the sooner they recover and the less likely they are to collect disability. This is a win-win for you and your employees, they get to maintain employment and you don’t have to find a substitute.
Why You Need a Workers’ Compensation Policy
Besides the fact that most states make obtaining a workers’ compensation policy mandatory, it’s just plain smart to have. While some industries are more pricey than others to insure, in the long run it could save you thousands of dollars in medical and attorney's fees.
Your independent insurance agent can walk you through the step by step scenario of saving you money. And to ensure you are meeting the insurance companies’ requirements and getting the best rate possible, here's how the steps usually go:
- Step 1: The agent analyzes current safety practices in place and gives recommendations on improvements.
- Step 2: Gets a safety officer or OSHA certified expert involved to make sure safety compliance and regulations are being adhered to, thus saving you money on premium.
- Step 3: Makes sure all employees are properly classified and documented on the front end to avoid any hassle when audit time comes. And it does come.
- Step 4: Makes sure that you are practicing the collection of certificates of insurance from independent contractors as well as any other required documents that the insurance company is looking for.
- Step 5: Helps you initiate a return to work program so you are prepared when an employee gets injured on the job. Being proactive is the best!
- Step 6: Presents your case to multiple insurance carriers and negotiates premium and coverage.
Cost Savings of a Return to Work Program
It’s all about the bottom line. An independent insurance agent can make sure you're saving as much on premiums as possible. Utilizing a return to work program will save you money on your workers’ compensation premium.
How you may ask? Well, the longer an employee stays out of work due to a work-related injury, illness or disability, the more likely they are to give in altogether and collect disability. While sometimes this is necessary, a lot of times it doesn’t have to be.
You know the old saying that misery likes company, well so do injuries. The more an employee is alone and feeling like they are worthless because of an injury or illness, the worse things can get. Getting them back in the groove of things and around co-workers will help with their morale and overall healing process.
Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine. And in this case, it just might do the trick to a speedy recovery.
Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
At the end of the day you want to know that you and your business are taken care of. An independent insurance agent is there to do just that. They work for you and fight for the best coverage and rates on your behalf.
With several different carrier options, they are sure to have a company that fits your needs on all fronts concerning commercial insurance. They are a one-stop shop.