If you are going to sell business insurance to the business community, you need a strong basic understanding of workers compensation insurance. While companies will be concerned about having insurance for their buildings, inventory, and vehicles, and will understand the need for various types of property insurance, the same companies will look at work comp insurance as a governmental mandated cost of doing business.
As their agent, you need to be able to explain to your client business the importance of workers compensation and how it works.
While your clients, the companies, will think about their property insurance exposures, they will have a far higher frequency of workers compensation claims then property claims. Therefore, selling and servicing workers compensation insurance can be challenging for any agent, even experienced ones. The successful insurance agent will be the agent who can explain the advantages of all types of business insurance including workers compensation.
A major part of the challenge of workers compensation insurance is the way it is different from the other various business lines. With property insurance, the cost of the claim can normally be ascertained fairly quickly and easily. The longer life of some work comp claims, along with the variables of medical treatment, income replacement, and a third party (the employee) who has a different perspective and different motivation, makes the evaluation of the cost of the work comp claim much more complex.
The complexity of work comp is what often keeps insurance agents from being as educated in workers comp as they are in the other insurance products they sell and service. However, learning the parameters of work comp is not nearly as difficult as you might think. To assist you in becoming more proficient in work comp, we have put together a guide that has become quite popular both with agents/brokers and with risk managers/corporate financial control management.
Our guide will assist agents in better understanding the entire work comp process which will assist you, the agent, in providing a higher level of service to your clients when they have a claim or even when they just want a better understanding of workers compensation. The chapters of the guide that will be of special interest to insurance agents include:
- How an employer should assess their work comp program.
- How the employer should structure their work comp team.
- The forms and documents the employer will need to process/submit their work comp claims.
- The training the employer will need in their work comp program.
- The management and monitoring of the employer’s work comp program.
Additionally, as the agent, you will want to understand what is going on with the client’s work comp claims. Learning more about the claim progress will allow you to answer the questions your clients have about their claims. Knowing the differences between the way property and work comp claims are handled will allow you to better service your clients. Some of the topics that benefit insurance agents and allow for a better understanding of workers compensation include:
- The role of the third party administrator in the work comp claim.
- The differences between bundled and unbundled services.
- The importance of proper account handling instructions.
- The role of medical management in the claim.
- The best practices of work comp claim handling.
- The ability of the employer to control the selection of the medical providers.
- The importance of a return to work program at the client.
- The importance of a solid safety program.
- How to fight fraudulent claims.
It is important that the agent can answer all of their client’s insurance questions including the questions on workers compensation. We encourage you to learn work comp to the point that you can answers all your client’s questions. If you want to know more about cost containment, learn more about our book Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%.
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Manage Your Workers Compensation: Reduce Costs 20-50% www.WCManual.com. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.