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The Top Employer Concern is Workers' Comp Costs

- Friday, March 23, 2012

Controlling workers’ compensation costs is a top priority for employers.

During the next 12 months, employers say cost containment is their number one workers’ compensation insurance concern, a new study shows. Some 59% of employers say they are very or somewhat concerned about cost containment in 2012. Employers also expressed concerns about increasing exposures, renewals and rising fraud behaviors.

48% of all respondents to the survey reported a workers’ compensation premium increase in the past year.

The 2012 P&C Workers’ Compensation & Safety Survey was conducted from Jan. 6 to Feb. 24. Over 3,500 employers nationwide participated in the survey.

Participants came from 20 business sectors, with heaviest representation from manufacturers (17 percent), health care and social assistance providers (15 percent), and construction (13 percent). Some 57 percent of those participating reported workers’ compensation premiums under $50,000 annually.

Among the companies surveyed, 54% reported a payroll increase in the last year.

Controlling Costs

Participants said the most effective measure they took to control workers’ comp cost was having a safety-minded culture (65 percent).

While 59% indicated that a light-duty or return to work program was an effective or highly effective method of controlling costs, only 45% of respondents reported having a written return to work policy.

Other popular cost control measures were, in order of popularity, onsite accident evaluations, loss prevention evaluations, zero-accident goals, having a dedicated claims manager, safety committee efforts, and using a preferred occupational medicine facility.

Other Concerns

After cost containment, employers expressed notable concerns about increasing exposures (35%), renewals (35%), and rising fraud behaviors (31%). Market availability was a concern of 26% of respondents, and just over 20% were worried about insurance carrier stability.

If any of these concerns mirror yours, or if you are interested in ideas for worker's comp insurance cost containment, contact TriState Insurance.

Insurance Journal