When an employer buys a workers compensation insurance policy they’ve unknowingly entered into a world governed by what seems like secretive rules, unidentified state statutes, misunderstood rating and audit methods and confused insurance company representatives. The ultimate effect may be unexpected high additional premium bills from the insurance company.
To begin, not all employers need the help of a consultant. Many basic level problems that come up with a workers compensation policy can be handled by working with your insurance agent or broker. These folks are your first line of defense for basic level problems that may come up with your policy. They set up your policy so they know how rating payrolls were determined, how classification codes were developed and applied to your policy and how those items developed the deposit premium on your policy. Your agent or broker is your initial representative with the insurance company. As a matter of fact our firm works closely with many independent insurance agents and agencies to provide a higher level of expertise for their workers compensation clients! So our recommendation is that you first contact your agent or broker regarding any problem you may have with your policy.
If things take a turn for the worse it may then be the time to call on the help of a consultant.
Consultants work in a world of rules and the interpretation and application of those rules. Workers compensation policies are governed at their basic level by state statute. From there you’ll find that individual states will either secure the assistance, through contract, of an advisory organization like NCCI, the National Council of Compensation Insurance, or establish their own state operated organization. These advisory organizations are then saddled with the development and implementation of rules on how workers comp policies are handled within their individual states. Rules, classification codes, statistical development of rates along with the responsibility of individual employer data gathering, development and application of employer experience rating are only a part of their responsibilities. Just know that the mechanism in place behind a simple workers comp policy in any state is extremely complex.
It’s when your specific problem moves from the basic level into the more complex that you need to consider enlisting the help of a consultant.
Let’s keep this real! Work with your agent or broker, but if your problem persists, escalates or is of a more complex nature, don’t wait, contact an independent work comp consultant for help!
If you’re an employer who secures coverage directly with a carrier you may not have an agent in the traditional sense and when faced with a problem forced to go it alone. If, for whatever reason, you’ve had to secure coverage through an Assigned Risk or Residual Market program, you may not have an agent or if you work through a captive agent (an agent who is employed by the insurance company) you may find their hands are tied when it comes to providing you with assistance. When these types of circumstances apply, don’t be shy, contact a consultant!
Hope this helps you out! Thanks!