Workers Compensation Insurance
Whether you call it workers comp, workman’s comp, or workers compensation, this critical business insurance coverage is often commoditized and misunderstood. On this page, we will outline what workers compensation insurance is, what it does, how to get it, and most importantly, how to control the cost of it over the long term.
For small businesses workers comp is often bundled with other policies, like your BOP or Business Owners Policy with the same insurer, on the same monthly bill. Usually not a big deal, not a big hassle. But for larger firms, especially in industrial, contracting, and other heavy industries, workers comp often stands on its own and is often a big headache for business owners.
While the workers compensation policy is one of the simplest policies out there, meaning there are not many endorsements or modifications, it can be one of the more difficult policies to handle, especially for larger firms.
The greater your payroll, the more can go wrong and the most costly it can be.
Our objective is to work with our clients, so they make the most informed buying decision and then support them with risk control advice and services to make sure we’re controlling the long-term costs of workers compensation.
Workers Compensation Insurance, everything you need to know
Workers Compensation is the simplest form of business insurance there is. Meaning the policy is pretty standardized from state to state, and there’s only a handful of endorsements that can amend policy terms. But don’t let that simplicity fool you into thinking that workers comp is “simple” and anyone can do it.
In this video, we describe the different forms of workers comp, parts of the rating methodology behind this policy, and how you can get the best workers compensation insurance for your company.
Top 5 Reasons to Purchase Workers Compensation from The Coyle Group:
You can purchase workers compensation from any number of sources. Online providers, direct writers, insur-techs, payroll providers, through a PEO, or through an expert, like The Coyle Group. Here are our top 5 reasons why buying workers compensation through us makes more sense.
The Top 5 Reasons to Purchase Workers Compensation from The Coyle Group:
- We are experts at Workers Comp and understand the nuances that create an effective Workers Comp Program.
- We don’t just “quote” workers compensation, we dig into the fundamentals to understand all cost drivers so you pay the lowest cost possible.
- We represent a very broad cross-section of the workers comp marketplace. This gives you choices and options with one phone call.
- We believe the more informed you are, the better choices you can make.
- We are a long-term partner to help you control costs over the long term.
Top 10 Causes of Accidents in the Workplace
Liberty Mutual Insurance Company conducts a workplace safety report every year. This past “safety index” shows that workplace injuries rack up around $50 billion dollars a year of insured costs. Keep in mind that if insurance companies collectively spend $50 billion a year on worker injury claims, there is probably another $50 to $250 billion a year spent by employers on indirect loss costs. That’s right, for every dollar of an insured loss, there’s another 1 to 5 dollars being spent by employers on indirect costs like lost productivity, retraining costs, waste, fines and penalties, investigative costs, and more.
The point is that worker injury claims are expensive for your insurer and you. Understanding claim trends and working towards zero losses not only makes economic sense but it also saves workers from unnecessary pain, suffering, and personal financial damages.
Here are the Top 10 causes of workplace accidents according to Liberty Mutual:
Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects account for about 22 percent of injuries nationwide.
Falls, on the same level
Commonly, falls on the same level are caused by slips and trips and are extremely common in our experience. They’re also one of the most controllable risk exposures.
Falls to a lower level
These are accidents such as falling off a ladder or scaffold, and while they are less common than the prior four types of claims, they are often very serious, causing significant injuries and death. Fall protection and personal protective gear, and proper training go towards preventing these claims.
Being hit by objects
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Watch for: falling objects
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Watch for: stepping down from a vehicle
Automobile and truck accidents involving injury to workers are workers comp claims, not auto claims, and these types of injuries account for about 6.18 percent of the total workers comp claim costs per year.
Slip or trip without a fall
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Watch for: slippery or uneven walkways
Colliding with objects or equipment
Instead of #3 on the list where an object or equipment hits a worker, this is an event where a worker runs into an object or equipment. This category accounts for 3.22 percent of claim costs. Preventing these claims includes proper signage warning or hazards, training, and regular inspections.
Caught in equipment or machines
These types of accidents caused 206 deaths and 7,310 injuries in 2020 and include injuries in fields, factories, and parking lots. This often involves a fork-lift in industrial settings.
Repetitive motions involving microtasks
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Watch for: hand- and shoulder-intensive work
What to start a conversation?
The best workers comp insurance company for you and your business is going to depend on several different factors, including:
- Where you’re located.
- The type of business or industry you’re in.
- How large is your company in terms of employees and payroll?
- Your loss or claim history over the past 5 years.
- The controls you have in place to reduce risk.
- For example, The Hartford Insurance Company may be the best insurer for a textile manufacturer in New York. Still, if that same account was located in California, Hartford could be the highest priced. Workers compensation insurance pricing is dynamic – meaning that pricing can change very dramatically based on the factors I mentioned above. No one insurance company is going to be consistently THE BEST.
These five insurers are often top performers in our brokerage:
- Travelers Insurance Company
- The Hartford
- Liberty Mutual
- Utica National
The last point to make here about finding the best workers compensation insurance is that choosing the right broker is really the first step in finding the best insurance company.
As a specialist in workers comp, we know the marketplace, we know who the players are, we also know how to make your account stand out so that underwriters want to compete for it and give it their best pricing shot. Rather than trying to do all this on your own, it only makes sense to engage an expert to do this legwork for you. And that’s what we do at The Coyle Group.
If you do a search online for best workers compensation insurance, you’ll likely see tons of lists from what appear to be credible sources. But, many of these are not credible, nor accurate so you’ve got to be critical here. The other thing you’ll see are insurers that write directly to the consumer and often cut out the broker. This is why using a direct to consumer insurer or portal is a mistake.
For several reasons.
- These direct sellers usually only sell their product so there’s no choice, which means you’ve got to contact multiple sources to compare quotes.
- Going direct means YOU need to be the expert when crafting the policy, making coverage selections, and managing your policy moving forward. Do you want that extra work and responsibility? Are you prepared to make those decisions?
- Many direct sellers do not provide risk control support. Need help with safety? You’re on your own.
- Direct doesn’t always mean cheaper.
The Experience Rating Modifier.
What is it and how does it work?
In this video, I describe the workers compensation experience rating modifier. Often confusing and confounding, the mod or ex-mod as it’s often called plays a key role in your workers compensation premium development, so understanding it is critical to long term cost reductions.
What Does Workers Comp Insurance Cover?
Workers compensation Insurance is mandated in most states to protect workers from workplace accidents and illnesses. First, workers compensation assures that an injured worker gets the medical care they need for workplace accidents and illnesses, and pays for that care. Second, if an injured worker is unable to return to work following an accident or illness the policy will pay a portion of the wages lost during that worker’s recuperation.
Most workers comp policies also provide liability protection for employers if an employee or their family brings a lawsuit for on the job injuries or wrongful death.
Every state is slightly different in it’s rules, rates, and underwriting, but largely the workers comp policy and it’s coverages remain the same.
Want to learn more? This is a very helpful article on the subject: link
Want to learn more?
Looking to create a safety system or plan in your business? The task may seem daunting but approaching it with some basic organizational tools will help. The document below can help you get in the right mindset and give you the framework to create a solid Safety and Health Management System in your company. Need assistance? Contact us and let’s see how we can help.
The cost of workers compensation insurance is based on four major factors:
- The Industry your business is in.
- The type of work your employees do, often grouped into classifications.
- Your claim history.
Below is a simplified flowchart on how the premiums for
workers compensation insurance are developed or calculated:
The best rate is largely determined by your claim history and safety processes PLUS, working with the right broker. As we’ve mentioned earlier, buying direct from a website, insur-tech, or direct writer doesn’t give you any choices. Keep in mind that just because someone says they’re the cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean their the best.
Working with an independent agent that specializes in workers comp, and has the right tools to help you reduce worker injuries and manage claims is going to get you closer to that best rate you’re looking for.
The bottom line is that there is no magic wand someone can wave and get you the best workers comp rates. It’s going to take some work and investigation to find the right broker you can trust, and who you’ll like working with.
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