The Internet is full of sites touting their ability to get large refunds on your workers compensation policy. Many also pledge they can reduce or return overpaid taxes, utility and other types of business expenses. Beware! Not all workers compensation consultants are the same. Please read on…
You’ll find there are generally three types of workers compensation consultants or specialists out there. Those who work with:
- Premium and Audit Issues
- Benefit Issues
- and Safety Issues
And depending on your specific situation, you will choose a consultant most familiar with your type of problem to assist you.
Let’s get back to how to choose a consultant when you need one. Here’s some qualifying questions to ask yourself:
- What type of problem am I having? – Identify the type of problem. Is it a premium, experience mod, classification code problem or an adverse audit you’ve received from the insurance company? Is it a benefit problem? Maybe one of your employees is experiencing a problem with an active claim. Or is an issue with workers safety? Do you need help establishing or modifying an existing safety program?
- Where can I find the type of help I need? – Most folks go right to the Internet and start searching for help. That’s a great place to start! Do your research. For example search for workers compensation consultants, workers compensation audit consultant or workers compensation premium consultant if you need to find help with a premium problem.
Once you’ve identified your problem and started searching for help consider these points when choosing a consultant:
- Do they have experience working with your type of problem? – A good consultant or consulting firm will walk you through a qualification process. A quality firm will not take on your case if they do not have the experience required to help with your problem but may refer you to another firm better suited to your needs.
- Are members of the consulting firm credentialed? – Designations earned and maintained by consultants show a commitment to expertise in their field.
- Ask for CV’s – Check out the CV’s of the principal and/or primary consultants who will be assigned to your case. A quality consulting firm should have no problem providing you with this information. My experience working in the consulting arena tells me that this work is personal! Working through a specific clients problem takes time and having a good working relationship can become extremely important. So be sure to ask yourself…Are these the folks I want to work with?
- Ask for an initial consultation – There should never be a charge for an initial consultation. A reputable consulting firm will want to get to know about your problem, your company and make an assessment as to their ability to help. If someone wants to charge you for an initial consultation, to talk about your problem…RUN!
- What about compensation for a consultant? How are they paid? – Compensation plans from workers compensation consulting firms can vary depending on the type of work being performed. Some firms offer fixed fees for certain specific services. Some firms will place caps on their fees while others will not. We’ve found that firms working on specific problems generally charge an hourly rate with some type of minimum and retainer. Be sure to ask for their service fee schedule and make sure you secure a service agreement.
So there you go. A few pointers you can use about how to choose a workers comp consultant.
Now for a word of caution…there are consulting firms and then there are consulting firms! If a consulting firm promises you the world watch out! As I mentioned at the beginning of this post there are many types of firms out there…some are there to take advantage of employers in trouble…and not the kind of firms you want to associate with.
There’s plenty of great work comp consulting firms out there. From small boutique to large multinational operations. Take your time, pick and choose the firm who can best handle your type of work comp problem.
Oh by the way…this is the work we do! If you have any questions or would like information about our firm, Workers Compensation Consultants, just contact my office.
Hope this helps you out! Thanks!