We all can agree that the circumstances surrounding the filing of a workers’ compensation or “work comp” claim can certainly be daunting and potentially costly. It’s easy to fall prey to the notion of “I’ll take care of this tomorrow” or “I probably don’t need to report this”. How much of a difference can early and proactive claims reporting really make? As it turns out, it could save your business thousands of dollars, or prevent the need to even provide a payout at all.
From a cost standpoint, consider the unknowns surrounding the evolution of a workers’ compensation claim. Delayed reporting can increase the payouts required of the employer significantly. By taking a proactive approach, the employee, client, agent, insurance carrier, etc. work together to manage unexpected occurrences throughout the claim process. Minor injuries with no lost time may develop into ailments requiring surgery, physical therapy, and extensive time away from work. A lag in reporting may cause an employee to delay treatment, further aggravating an injury and increasing an employer’s eventual payout. When all parties involved work together to report the incident and manage it closely throughout the claim process, an expedited and favorable resolution for each party is much more likely.
The financial stress caused by a delayed work comp claim doesn’t necessarily stop at the claim’s conclusion. Consider the effects that high claim payouts have on an employer’s experience modification rating, a primary figure used in the calculation of work comp rates. Allowing just one claim to get out of hand could potentially raise this figure significantly, leading to much higher work comp policy premiums in future years.
Legal ramifications may also come into play if the report of a work comp claim is delayed. Each state enforces laws related to the disclosure of these claims. When violations occur, the employer may be faced with significant fines.
Above all, championing the work comp claims process that is in place at your company communicates an essential point. You place the health and safety of your employees in the highest regard. By sending this vital message, your employees understand that they are part of a company that cares, leading to increased morale and job satisfaction.