According to a claimsjournal.com workers’ compensation article, the 2012 P&C Workers’ Compensation and Safety Survey found that 59 percent of employers are very or somewhat concerned about managing the cost of workers’ compensation in 2012. Employers say cost containment is their biggest workers’ compensation insurance concern, along with increasing exposures, renewals and rising fraud behaviors.
Mitigating Workers’ Compensation Costs
The survey indicated that the most effective control mechanism for managing workers’ compensation costs was encouraging a culture of safety. Sixty-five percent of respondents stated that having a culture of safety was their best defense against high workers’ compensation claims costs. The survey also found that 59 percent of participants thought light-duty or return-to-work programs were effective in controlling workers’ compensation costs. Interestingly, only 45 percent of participating firms actually had a written return-to-work policy.
Other cost-control measures that were widespread and reported to be somewhat effective were:
- Onsite accident evaluations
- Loss prevention evaluations
- Zero-accident goals
- Retaining a dedicated claims manager
- Safety committee organized efforts
- Maintaining a relationship with a preferred occupational medicine facility
Participants in the P&C Workers’ Compensation and Safety Survey represent 20 business sectors, with the highest percentages from:
- Manufacturers (17%)
- Health Care/Social Assistance Providers (15%)
- Construction (13%)
Occupations of survey respondents included HR personnel, finance staff, CEOs/presidents, safety managers, risk managers, and operations directors. Of those surveyed, 57 percent reported that workers’ compensation premiums were under $50,000 per year.
Other Major Workers’ Compensation Concerns
Survey participants reported the five largest concerns following cost containment were:
- Increasing exposures (35%)
- Renewals (35%)
- Rising fraud behaviors (31%)
- Market availability (26%)
- Carrier stability (20%)
Once Accidents Happen
Nurturing a culture of safety and other pre-incident cost control measures are very important. However, workplace injuries will still occur. When they do, Paradigm recommends ensuring high quality care possible for the injured worker. This approach may seem to conflict with cost control strategies, but receiving the right care at the right time will reduce lifetime costs of workers’ compensation claims. Not only can this approach reduce claims cost in the long run, but it also has the benefit of aiding the best possible recovery for the injured worker, including a return to work.
Paradigm was specifically designed and built to help self-insured employers and carriers manage their most catastrophic, complex and costly claims. By wrapping an expert team around the injured person, we ensure the best care by the best providers for better medical outcomes, and ultimately substantial savings for our clients. For more information, contact us via our website or call: 888-621-6602.