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John Scott Insurance Agency

Measuring Success in Workers Compensation

By | Commercial Insurance | No Comments

The old adage says, “What gets measured, gets managed.” What does that mean for workers compensation? What can we measure to truly improve outcomes for everyone in the workers compensation system?

There is certainly no shortage of data, but what we do with it, how we measure it, and, most importantly, how we apply it are key components to improving the system for everyone.

The most important element of any program is treating injured workers well and getting them back to health and work as quickly as possible.

Three-point contact, adjuster caseloads, and the speed of communicating with the injured worker are all metrics to be extensively measured. But are these still relevant? Does success for these measurements lead to better outcomes, or should they evolve?

There is no definitive answer except that measurements are important if they ultimately lead to better outcomes.

Allowing metrics to evolve with advancing technology is important. The first communication with the injured worker is very different than just a short time ago. Some employers are now able to view employer video footage within hours of a claim being reported. Now, the first conversation with the injured worker can focus on them, not discovery.

The most important metrics to measure are those that focus on three core factors.

  • The speed with which the claim goes through the system
  • The quality of the medical care
  • Efforts around return to work

Keeping a balance on the metrics measured is key.

If you are making significant changes to your program, be sure to discuss these with the actuaries so they can adjust their modeling accordingly. Employers should meet with actuaries frequently to monitor trends that are impacting their program. It is important to show actuaries how all the metrics work together to see the whole story, rather than looking at any one metric in isolation.

Going forward, the industry will need to learn to trust the metrics more. It is time for stakeholders to rely on the technology, rather than what their guts are telling them should be right.

At the same time, it is crucial to make sure the customer is happy, regardless of what the measurements show. Measurements do not matter if the injured worker has a bad experience. There is no single measure that will guarantee success. The metrics can lead to positive outcomes when they are viewed as one factor in the overall injury management program. Organizations need to be willing to evolve and change with technology and the experiences of injured workers.

At the end of the day, it is how well we care for injured workers that is the most important thing.

If you have any questions about your workers compensation coverage please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our licensed agents at Contractors Insurance Agency.

 

Let Safety Drive Business Success!

By | Commercial Insurance | No Comments

Workplace safety is not just a list of rules. It’s a process. It takes commitment, effort, and is ultimately  something most businesses have opportunity to improve.

Keep the following in mind as you review your current processes to let safety drive your business success:

  • Keep it simple and take one step at a time.
  • Lead your business with safety, placing a focus on preventing injuries and losses.
  • If you do not react to an injury or loss, that is a missed opportunity for the future.
  • Workplace safety should be done because it is the right thing to do.

Here are seven best practices to focus on as you design your safety and health program, or enhance what is already in place as you evaluate your current process:

  1. Establish safety and health as a core value: Communicate to all workers your No. 1 goal is to keep your employees safe.
  2. Lead by example: Demonstrate safe behavior in everything you do and make it a priority in your daily interactions with workers.
  3. Implement a reporting system: Establish a system for workers to report all injuries, illnesses, near misses and safety concerns.
  4. Provide training: Train workers on the safe methods for performing their job, as well as how to identify and report unsafe conditions.
  5. Conduct inspections: Inspect the workplace on a regular basis – using a checklist to guide workers through the process – and assure that unsafe conditions and behavior are corrected.
  6. Address emergencies: Plan for identified emergency situations, including communicating the instructions to all workers, and periodically conduct a drill to test the plan.
  7. Make improvements: Take time to discuss safety and health issues with your workers. Seek input on workplace changes and implement hazard controls to improve overall safety.

Below is a link to some of OSHA’s helpful resources to improve your safety process: https://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/download-recommendedpractices.html.

Benefits of Product Liability Insurance

By | Commercial Insurance | No Comments

Your customers expect you to have safe and reliable products, and failing to meet these expectations can lead to huge financial losses. If one of your products harms a customer in any way, they can sue your business, leading to costly legal fees and settlements. These costs can easily reach six figures.

While you may do everything in your power to ensure your products are safe, mishaps can still occur without warning. That’s why, to protect against claims and ensure the longevity of your business, you need product liability insurance.

Product Liability Insurance includes:

Coverage for manufacturing or production flaws – One of the key features of product liability insurance is its coverage for manufacturing or production flaws that cause unsafe defects in the product.

Protection against design defects – Even after product testing and trial runs, potentially dangerous defects can still appear long after production. Product liability insurance can provide coverage for design errors that make goods unsafe for use by the public.

Response for packaging and warning issues – In the event that you fail to provide adequate defect warnings or instructions for using the product, your company can be sued. These claims arise when products are not properly labeled or have warning s that are not explanatory enough to reduce consumer risks while using the product Product liability insurance helps organization prepare for and litigate these types of claims.

Supplemental commercial general liability (CGL) coverage – Generally, there is limited product liability protection under a CGL policy, yet it may not be enough coverage to adequately protect your business.  Product liability policies work alongside CGL coverage, providing protection against losses caused by malfunctions or defects in your products.

Product liability is a complex exposure, and managing your risk can be a major undertaking – even if you have access to all the right resources.

To supplement your risk management strategies and address specific exposures, speak with one of our agents at Contractors Insurance Agency today.

 

Benefits of Fiduciary Liability Insurance

By | Commercial Insurance | No Comments

Offering employees a variety of benefit options, like pension plans, retirement accounts and health care coverage, while not required, is expected of today’s employers.

Organizations that provide these resources to their workforce often task an individual or group of individuals called fiduciaries to oversee the benefits plans. Fiduciaries may include employers, plan administrators, plan trustees, directors, officers and internal investment committees.

A fiduciary’s job is to select advisors and investments, minimize expenses and follow plan documents exactly.  Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), fiduciaries must act in the interest of plan participants in order to avoid liability claims related to the denial of benefits, administrative error, improper advice, wrongful termination of a plan and similar allegations stemming from plan management.

In order for an organization to protect its fiduciaries, fiduciary liability insurance is critical and can provide policyholders with the following:

ERISA liability protection – Under ERISA, a fiduciary is any entity or person that is responsible for the management of benefits plans. Per ERISA requirements, these individuals can be held liable for any breach of duties, errors or omissions. Fiduciary liability insurance is designed to protect plan sponsors and their employees from fiduciary claims – claims that can easily reach six figures or more.

Protection from common fiduciary claims – A number of parties, including employees, the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, can file fiduciary lawsuits. Claims can arise for a number of reasons, including administrative error, wrongful termination of a plan, improper advice and conflicts of interest. Fiduciary liability insurance can go a long way in protecting employers and plan administrators from these common claims.

Affordable Coverage – While the cost of fiduciary liability insurance can vary depending on an organizations’ assets and the number of plan participants, coverage is generally affordable. On average, fiduciary liability insurance plans range anywhere from $600 to $2600 per year depending on a company’s specific requirements.

Specialty protection not found in similar policies – Companies often wrongfully assume that employee benefits liability (EBL) or directors and officers (D&O) liability policies can provide protection for fiduciary claims. While EBL insurance can defend against claims of errors in plan administration, it provides no protection for more expensive and complex ERISA violations. D&O policies also typically exclude EBL and ERISA related claims, making fiduciary liability insurance a must.

Coverage beyond fidelity bonds – ERISA fidelity bonds are required by law and are meant to protect plans against losses related to acts of theft or fraud. While these bonds are critical if someone acting as a fiduciary deliberately defrauds or steals from a plan, they only protect employee benefits and not a fiduciary’s liability.  Specifically, fidelity bonds do not provide any form of payment for legal defenses or damages related to fiduciary claims, making finding the right policy crucial.

If you have any questions about Fiduciary Liability insurance please contact us at Contractors Insurance Agency and find out how we can help you.

 

 

 

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