Dealing with workplace injuries can be costly and burdensome for your company and your injured team member. Effective, knowledgeable workers compensation brokers can help both parties navigate the healthcare and insurance systems.
The Broker’s Role
The job of the insurance broker is to act as liaison between your company and insurance providers. The broker is responsible for finding the best coverage for your company, often from an insurer that is familiar with your industry and its unique needs. After a provider is chosen, the broker negotiates terms with the insurer. Brokers can also assist with educating employees about workers’ compensation benefits and help them with filing claims.
Saving Time and Money
Rather than working directly with the insurer, many companies work through brokers to gain the benefits of their knowledge and purchasing power. The benefits of having a dedicated broker on your team can include:
Time saved from evaluating and understanding multiple insurance policies when shopping for options.
Negotiating leverage for better terms and prices may be possible through a broker’s larger network of clients.
Rather than working through the company’s human resources staff, Injured employees often work directly with the broker for quicker access to benefits and assistance getting back to work.
Workers compensation brokers who advocate on your behalf can frequently identify and negotiate the best coverage package for your company that meets the needs of both the company and its team members.
Many may think that nursing homes are a low-risk work environment, but this is far from the case. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing homes experience some of the highest rates of injuries when compared to other industries such as mining, construction, and manufacturing. Part of the reason for the high workers’ compensation risk for nursing homes is the manual lifting of patients — moving residents to and from bed, assisting with bathing and positioning patients in chairs — that can cause micro-injuries to the spine and trigger moderate to severe musculoskeletal disorders. These injuries, in turn, not only wreak havoc on the health and earning potential of workers but also on the turnover rate and financial health of nursing home operators.
How workers’ compensation policy rates are determined
In determining a facility’s premium, insurance companies prepare loss history reports. The loss history reflects the workers’ comp claims a company has had over a designated period of time, typically one year. It includes all of the claims that have been filed with the insurer as well as what has been paid and expected payments in the future. Those facilities with higher amounts of loss typically pay higher premiums.
What’s more, few people realize it, but when you buy an existing nursing home facility, you inherit that facility’s loss history, even if your own losses are minimal — and you’re doing everything you can to lower the exposure to the new facility. You’ll still pay the higher premium, and continue to do so for at least three years. To make matters worse, in some instances, you may have no control over claims from a prior owner, and the prior owner may have no incentive to manage the claims. So your premium could get worse over time.
Your experience modification rate specifically relates to your workers’ comp premium. A facility’s experience modification is based on the number and severity of workers’ comp claims filed. Insurance companies use this rate to gauge past injuries and potential risk to predict future losses and calculate workers’ comp premiums.
A workers compensation insurance broker can go over in more detail all that goes into determining your insurance rates and provide you with assistance in reducing the frequency and severity and claims and ultimately your premium.