Clients have expressed concerns and complaints about their workers compensation insurers. Here is how independent agents can help.
In my almost 40 years as a risk manager, construction and general industry safety consultant, clients have expressed their concerns and complaints about their workers compensation insurers.
Here's a summary of seven common pieces of feedback from clients about what they want from their workers comp insurance agents:
1) Be a claims advocate. Clients want their agent to follow up on claims if they are not satisfied with the adjusters' follow-up and follow-through efforts, and to regularly update them.
2) Keep them updated. Agents should send their clients quarterly or semi-annually loss runs. Knowing the detail will help them understand claims, especially how reserves were set, and if they are commensurate with needed future treatment and services for injured workers.
3) Help them see the big picture. If an insurer has flagged accident patterns or trends, they want someone to provide timely loss prevention services to help minimize the likelihood of a recurrence.
4) Explain loss control. Clients want help to understand the rationale behind loss control recommendations and really help them implement loss-focused and risk-specific safety practices. Clients have no trouble understanding and complying with practical, doable recommendations which will help to protect their employees, but also like to know about specific safety practices and programs that will help them over the long term.
5) Be on the same side. Agents must communicate to the insurer that the client is amenable to complying with realistic recommendations if they protect their employees and reduce risk.
6) Services are key. Clients want assistance from their agent when insurers either don't offer loss prevention services or offer services that are commensurate with premium size.
7) Honesty is the best policy. Clients want adjusters, insurers and their agent to be brutally honest and give them the bad news so they can prepare for the worst.
Robert K. Tuman, president of CCR Safety Consulting, is an independent construction risk manager and safety consultant with nearly 40 years in the industry. He can be reached via email or at 805-545-5976. Tuman thanks the many loyal agents and agencies which helped him get started as a risk manager and safety consultant—especially those Massachusetts-based agents and agencies. He is most grateful for their trust.