Workers' compensation rates and claims don't exist independently of other factors, such as the market, the industry and the economy. This is why changes could be on the horizon for employers who have a comprehensive policy, and their responses could determine whether or not those shifts are a positive or a negative.
Thankfully, there is plenty a company can do to ensure low workers' compensation insurance rates, a limited number of claims and safe workers. In many cases, it just takes a little planning and awareness, as well as some proactive measures to prevent small issues from turning into big problems.
Here are a few potential changes on the horizon for workers' compensation insurance, so an employer can make educated decisions to keep their company profitable:
Lack of technology could play a role
Today's businesses are shifting, and new trends are emerging on almost a daily basis. As a result, many elements of effective enterprise management have been altered as well, including insurance. Keeping up with the times and adapting right alongside can be one of the best things for any firm to do.
According to Insurance Journal, there are a number of challenges ahead for the workers' compensation insurance industry. Depending on how a company responds, these could be considered impediments to growth or opportunities to achieve success. For example, technological advances have drastically altered many insurance industries, such as health care. However, the workers' compensation sector has fallen behind slightly with innovations, and that could prevent more efficient claims administration and management.
"Even now, today, the usual way is that when you have a claim, you'll go online and file a report online or you'll make a phone call," Thomas Lynch, founder and CEO of consulting firm Lynch Ryan & Associates Inc., told the news source. "Why couldn't you take out your smartphone, have a voice activated app that could allow you to report directly into your carrier's system which would, in real time, display for a claims adjuster? Why can't you, at the same time, take a picture of the incident on your smartphone and include that with the report - the whole claim reported and done in five minutes. We can't do that now and yet we can do it in other areas."
Learn state laws and regulations
Many states take unique approaches to workers' compensation insurance, and that can trip up some employers who have workers - or job sites - in different parts of the country. With that in mind, it may be wise to learn all of these nuances, to ensure that policies are in line with the laws and regulations of the states.
According to Entrepreneur magazine, an employer should first determine the company's exposures to potential claims from workers who are in different states. In some cases, staff members live and work across a border, or travel for the job itself. Proper coverage must be in place for each location, to prevent a lack of insurance if something were to happen. In addition, the company might also fall under different classifications in certain states. If one of these isn't correct, that could lead to overcharges or audits, two things that are easily avoidable with planning and due diligence.
Overall, managing workers' compensation insurance costs and claims may seem like a complicated task, but it isn't as long as the employer is prepared and vigilant. Challenges may appear soon, but understanding how to adapt and grow can help prevent unwanted problems from appearing. Once this is complete, keeping workers safe and insured on the job will be a simpler proposition.