While there are many factors that will influence how much you pay for your workers’ compensation insurance coverage, it’s always true that the fewer accidents you have, the better your rates will be. Of course, having solid and updated safety systems in place is a great starting point when you’re trying to ensure your number of workplace accidents is kept to a minimum, but there are other factors that can influence this as well.
THE PROBLEM OF SERIAL FILERS
While most employees work hard to avoid injury and follow company safety procedures properly, there are always those who, for a variety of reasons, repeatedly file workers’ compensation claims. These may be a result of actual injuries sustained because the employee takes unnecessary risks and doesn’t appropriately protect themselves, or they may be completely fraudulent claims.
Either way, serial workers comp filers can cost you significantly in terms of both lost productivity and increased premiums from your workers’ compensation policy. They can even cause you to miss out on potential projects if your ExMod to increase substantially thus. For these reasons, it’s important to keep serial filers out of your company, and there are several things you can do to improve your chances in this regard.
SOUND HIRING PRACTICES
The best way to avoid having to deal with serial filers is to not hire them in the first place. Of course, you can’t always tell that someone will have problems with repeated injuries on the job during an interview, but you should still learn as much as you can about each applicant to increase the likelihood of uncovering any red flags.
In addition to asking insightful interview questions to get a good feel for potential employees’ attitudes towards safety, you should also administer drug tests as a condition of an offer of employment. Providing each applicant with a detailed job description outlining the duties and tasks they will be required to perform is an important step as well, as is requiring a physical exam after an initial job offer is made.
To show how committed and conscientious your company is in regards to safety, it’s good to include information about your workers’ compensation insurance, as well as a thorough review of all safety policies and procedures during all employee orientations. When an accident does occur, handling it properly and efficiently by filing all required paperwork and ensuring the injured employee receives prompt and appropriate medical treatment will help reduce the chances of fraudulent claims getting through.
SIGNS OF FRAUD
After a claim is filed, it’s important to be alert to signs of potential fraud. These include medical reports that don’t support the version of events provided by the employee and a lack of witnesses to the incident. Difficulty getting ahold of the injured employee after the accident is another warning sign to be aware of, and the more on top you are of these elements, the more likely you are to catch fraudulent claims quickly.
If you do have a workers’ compensation coordinator, make sure they stay in close contact with both your insurance carrier and the medical provider treating the injured employee so that it’s easy to spot discrepancies quickly. If you’d like to learn more about how to reduce the chances of fraudulent workers comp claims and what you can do to lower your costs, call or email us today.