Improving Workers Compensation Claims Management

Injuries to the workforce can really impair a company’s bottom line, which is why it’s so important to consider the many ways that auto body and collision repair shops can reduce their premium costs through workers compensation claims management. Here are a few successful methods that can enable any owner to get the desired results.

Start a safety-training program

Most insurance companies will give shops a discount of anywhere from 10 to 50 percent for implementation of a good safety training program. Training for new and existing employees can include facility equipment and conditions, OSHA or state health department safety and accident-prevention training, as well as emergency response education.

Put injured employees back to work

This is good for business as well as employee morale. It’s a really good idea for shops to find something for injured employees to do. The sooner you can get people back to work (even if it’s simply answering phones or filing paperwork), the less the insurance company will be forced to pay out, which only reduces the shops’ expenses in the long run.

Prevention results in savings

Because insurance premiums are calculated through a mathematical formula that takes into account something called the experience modifier, the more claims you’ve had, even if they’re small, the more that counts against your company. In fact, in some cases, by simply paying for claims out of pocket, rather than reporting them to the insurance company, you may be able to save quite a bit of money.

Don’t overpay on payroll

Every business has its premiums calculated using its total payroll. However, it should be taken into account that the payroll audit is designed for overpayment. Therefore, remind the auditor calculating your premium totals that companies do not have to pay worker’s compensation on severance pay, and keep track of all overtime hours. For example, if Employee XYZ makes $16 an hour, but then makes $24 per hour in overtime, the shop doesn’t have to pay worker’s compensation on that extra $8 per hour.

Identifying potential hazards at work will also contribute to workers compensation claims management by creating a culture of people who keep safety top of mind. This way, if a piece of equipment breaks, potentially causing a hazard, a manager is more likely to be notified by an attentive worker. By creating employee a system where they get rewarded for preventing an accident from occurring, employees have an added incentive for keeping a consistently accident-free workplace.