Workers’ comp is a ‘team effort’

Having the right workers' comp insurance makes a difference

New Hampshire companies understand the importance of having the right workman’s compensation insurance products to support their businesses. But when they need to shop for a new insurance carrier, it is important to ask the right questions to tailor a plan that fits the needs of their business and their employees. New Hampshire Business Review reached out to one Granite State firm to gain some insight.

Our panel: Kevin M. Snyder, director of sales and marketing, A.I.M. Mutual Insurance Companies,

Kevin M. Snyder, Director of Sales and Marketing, A.I.M. Mutual Insurance Co.’s

Q: What are some of the most important things to look for when considering a new workers’ compensation carrier?

A: Well, the typical answer here would be expertise, or service capability like claims and injury prevention. And those things are vitally important, don’t get me wrong. You want a carrier that knows what they’re doing when it comes to workers’ compensation, since it’s such a unique coverage and we’re working with injured human beings.

But what I’d really want our agents and future policyholders to ask is, “What are the values of the company we are going to partner with?” Workers’ compensation, by its nature, is a team effort. Carriers, brokers, injured workers, employers, doctors, nurses — everyone needs to work together to achieve the best outcome for the injured worker.

Ultimately, everyone has the same goals: to get the injured worker the best medical treatment, to take care of their missing wages when they’re out of work, and get them back to work as safely and quickly as possible.

So if your carrier doesn’t share similar values to you, working as an effective team is going to be extremely difficult, and will lead to poorer outcomes for your injured employees and you.

Q: How can New Hampshire businesses find workers’ compensation coverage relative to their size and type of industry?

A: “First We Listen” is our tagline, and we came by it naturally because we consider it the first step to creating the partnership and teamwork necessary to provide peace of mind to our partners. So, the simple answer is, talk to your broker and ask them to talk to us, and we will listen to your story! Even if you’ve been turned down by other carriers, or if you have had some claims, or if your business operates in a more high-risk environment, let’s talk to each other and see what we can do, together. That’s the best way to get the right coverage for you.

Q: How can an effective workers’ compensation management program impact an employer’s bottom line?

A: First, creating the safest possible workplace is one of the most controllable, most cost-effective investments you can make in your business. By preventing accidents and minimizing lost work time, the employer can control the cost of their claims, which is what is used when determining their experience modification factor.

But that’s not all. There are enormous other costs when there is an injury, right? The cost of lost productivity, the cost of rehiring or retraining, the cost of low morale, the physical, psychological and emotional costs to the employee and their coworkers, just to name a few.

Q: In workers’ compensation, how does a return-to-work program benefit both the employer and injured worker?

A: Even in the safest workplaces, injuries to employees happen. When they do, stay focused on getting the injured employee the best possible treatment and getting them back to work. This is where the shared values and teamwork I mentioned before are so critical. Injuries cause stress and worry for everyone: the injured employee, the employer and the broker. The best way to reduce that stress and worry, to provide peace of mind to all, is to get the injured employee the best treatment and get them back to work, if possible.

Categories: Law