While more colleges are now offering majors in risk management and insurance than there were available just ten or twenty years ago, many of the people who come in to the field of risk management and the even more specialized field of Workers’ Compensation Manager do not have previous experience or backgrounds in workers compensation. It is nothing unusual today for the new workers’ comp manager to also be working in another department such as finance or human resources. It becomes a learn-as-you-go experience.
The new workers’ comp manager, even the one who has been a workers comp adjuster, often needs a guide on what to anticipate in the new role. Therefore, we have put together a list of 5 things it helps to know about the job. Here is our list of five things the new workers’ compensation manager knows, but no one will tell.
The Safety Manager is your new best friend.
The better the safety manager does the job, the easier the new WC manager’s job will be, as fewer accidents mean fewer workers’ compensation claims. Ask the safety manager what can be done to eliminate accidents and injuries.
Learn how to read the loss run.
The loss run provides tons of useful information on the nature and the extent of the injuries. Learn about the types of injuries that occur most often and discuss with the Safety Manager what can be done to eliminate the frequent reoccurrences. Review the loss run to see how much money is being spent on medical and how much money is paid out in indemnity benefits. Look for areas where costs can be reduced. Customize the loss run; ask friends about the most helpful stats they have on their loss run, and include those on yours.
Know your insurer.
The insurance company that writes the workers’ compensation insurance is the insurer. The term “insurance carrier” will also be used. This does not mean they carry premiums to the bank. It is an old fashion term for carrying the burden of insurance loss. (Not to be confused with “insured” which is the employer). Learn about the insurer. Are they a mammoth insurance company that writes workers’ compensation as one of many types of insurance, or are they a smaller regional or local company specializing in workers’ compensation? What services do they offer as part of your program or at a low cost? Ask them to explain ALL of their services, not just those they pre-select.
Know the cost of workers’ compensation.
Learn what is paid for workers’ compensation insurance each year and if the premium is paid monthly, quarterly, or annually. Learn policy dates and which way the premium has been trending in recent years. (Declining premiums are a good sign the safety manager is doing his job well while increasing premiums indicates a need to team with the Safety Manager to reduce the number of claims and the severity of the claims that do occur. Know how to translate this into total dollars spent on workers’ compensation.
Timing is everything.
The most successful workers’ compensation managers are the ones who learn that time is of the essence in almost everything done as a work comp manager. New injury? Report it immediately to the claims office and immediately advise the medical provider’s office of the transitional duty program. New disability slip? Coordinate with the injured employee’s supervisor on how to accommodate the light duty work slip. New information on an older claim? Call the adjuster and share it with her so she can act on the information while it is still beneficial.
Good luck in the new role as the work comp manager. Use the ideas and consult our website often for advice on workers’ compensation.
Author Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers’ compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their workers’ comp costs by 20% to 50%. He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is a co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is the founder & lead trainer of Amaxx Workers’ Comp Training Center, which offers the Certified Master of Workers’ Compensation national designation.
Workers’ Comp Roundup Blog: http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/
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