Today, I got a phone call from an agent who is trying to convince his client that spending a little on injury prevention is better than spending a lot on injury management. The sale did not work and the client refused to entertain anything the agent told him. He actually said, “I don’t think I have a problem, and there’s no justifiable reason to spend money on something that’s not broken.”
Ok this guy has a 1.56 Experience Modification, he had 55 claims in the last 2 years and he is spending an extra 15% because his insurance carrier is charging him a Consent to Rate additional premium on top of his high Experience Mod. (And you still think you don’t have a problem? – What’s wrong with this picture?)
As we enter December and the close of 2010 – I have to wonder why employers still consider risk management an extinct specie. For some strange reason employers think that workers compensation injury prevention and claims management when out with the economic bath water. Tough economic times require tough claims management. Every dollar is important, even the ones we take for granted. Just because your insurance carrier is cutting the check doesn’t mean you got a get out of jail card.
I’m positive that if I look in my futuristic crystal ball, I will see many employers on the brink of a nervous breakdown in the coming months. Why? They failed to understand that if you terminate injured employees, they are going to collect workers comp benefits. If you fail to prevent injuries, they’re going to happen and it will cost you twice as much because now your payroll numbers are lower. The simple math, if you pay lower premiums and you continue to have injuries – you are financially upside down. This is not rocket science – it’s math for crying out loud.
After attempting to get employers to understand that their workers comp issues are not going away – even if they think they are. I am forced to face the reality that the economy has created a “bury my head in the sand” approach to managing injuries. We must step up our explanation of what injuries are going to cost today and how they will impact the survival of the business for years to come.
What can I say to employers, to make them understand that insurance carriers have less patience for insured’s who do not prevent their employees from getting injured. I fell like the insurance agent who called me today, I’m beating my head up against the proverbial economic wall!
So how do you convince employers, who you know are headed off the cliff to stop before they fall?
If you have any ideas please post your comments – I will be waiting to hear your thoughts on this.