Audits and your Liability Policy

A common topic of discussion is the workers’ comp audit.   Either through the horror stories of friends or self experience, you’ve heard the terrible tale of the large comp audit.   You’re now keenly tuned in to the payrolls and exposures on your work comp policy vowing never to let this happen to your organization again (or ever)!

Perhaps you’ve even transitioned to a “pay as you go” program to virtually eliminate the chance of an audit bill.

But… and there always seems to be a but.  What about your liability policy?  While you find yourself plugging the holes in one area, don’t forget the GL policy is often  an auditable policy like the WC.   Don’t make the mistake of assuming that since you’ve notified your carrier or broker of accurate payrolls for the workers’ compensation policy, those same updates translated to your liability policy!  You might be surprised to learn otherwise and we already know, that’s rarely a good thing.

Keep track of your liability policy exposures just as you do on the WC!

Comp rates continue to fall in Maryland and Nationally!

OK, some good news likely headed your way!  Many policy holders can expect some WC rate reduction again this year.

Here’s a notice just sent to Maryland brokers from Builders Mutual Insurance.

2018-01:  Maryland Workers’ Compensation Rate Changes

Effective March 1, 2018 and applicable to all new and renewal Workers’ Compensation policies, Builders Mutual Insurance Company is implementing NCCI’s January 1, 2018 revised loss costs for Maryland and revising the Company developed Loss Cost Multipliers. This change represents an overall rate decrease of 9.4% to our Builders Mutual book of business and a decrease of 9.5% to our Builders Premier book of business, however changes may vary by individual class.

In addition, maximum and minimum payroll amounts are:

Included officers minimum payroll – $54,600 per year (was $49,400)

Included officers maximum payroll – $218,400 per year (was $197,600)

Sole proprietor or partner (if elected coverage) – $54,700 per year (was $48,900)


Guarantee Insurance Co. in Liquidation!

On November 27, 2017, Guarantee Insurance Company (“GIC”) was ordered liquidated by the Second Judicial Circuit Court in Leon County, Florida. The Florida Department of Financial Services (“Department”) is the court appointed Receiver of GIC.

What does this mean to you?

Well, if you’re insured with Guarantee Insurance Co., it means you have a very short window to find a new insurance carrier!

Continue reading Guarantee Insurance Co. in Liquidation!

Be on the lookout!

Have you ever noticed a scheduled credit on your policy?  Ever wonder why it’s there?

Often times brokers are able to negotiate these on  your behalf, but sometimes the scheduled credits are adjusted based on the experience MOD changes.

Picture this…

It’s 2017 and you’re at the last year of your debit experience MOD of a 1.25.  Your current WC policy for that year has a scheduled credit of .80, easing some of the pain of your current debit MOD rating.  Your renewal policy comes in for 2018 with a new MOD of .78 and low and behold your scheduled credit is now a scheduled debit of 1.10.  What gives?   Virtually all of the premium savings you were expecting is gone!

Continue reading Be on the lookout!

Insurance Definitions and Terms

I sound like a broken record on this, but you can’t manage what you don’t understand! Insurance terms and policies are far from commonplace for most of us.

For those of you that don’t live and breath insurance, here’s an in depth list of insurance terms and what they mean to you.

Continue reading Insurance Definitions and Terms

Big Changes with non-compliant Audits!

Ever thought of not complying with your work comp insurance audit? In years past failure to comply with an audit might have caused an estimated audit with exposures inflated by 50% and some carriers were forgiving enough to process non compliant audits with no additional payroll increases.  With the new changes you may want to reconsider unless you’re ready for a potential 200% increase in exposures!

Does your policy have the endorsement WC 00 04 24?


2016-14:  Audit Noncompliance Charge for WC Policies

NCCI has established an Audit Noncompliance Charge Endorsement (WC 00 04 24) that will be included on all new and renewal workers’ compensation policies effective January 1, 2017.  The endorsement enables an insurance carrier to apply an Audit Noncompliance Charge to a workers’ compensation policy if the policyholder does not comply with the annual premium audit of their records.  When attached to policies, the endorsement will include the estimated annual payroll (in the Basis of Audit Noncompliance Charge section) and the annual premium multiplier that may be applied for noncompliance (in the Maximum Audit Noncompliance Charge Multiplier section).

Injury Types- What is Permanent Partial?

When reviewing your loss runs or mod worksheet you’ll run into the codes or following descriptions.  A quick overview of the common injury types are outlined below.

  • Fatal—Death claims ƒ
  • Permanent Total—Claimant expected to never be able to return work ƒ
  • Permanent Partial—Claimant expected to return to work but with some permanent impairment or disfigurement ƒ
  • Temporary Total—Claimant expected to recover fully ƒ
  • Medical Only—No benefits for lost wages are expected to be paid

MOD Quick Check

You’ve got your MOD Sheet and you already know how to read it.
A quick review of key pieces of information and areas we’ve discovered over the years that can be addressed quickly.

  1. The Policy Dates are Correct!  (It sounds simple, but changes in renewal dates, wrap-ups, mergers, sales and even asset purchases can lead to mistakes or not getting the full credit for you actual exposure!)
  2. Were any claims under subrogation?  Even partially?
  3. How do the claims compare?  Do you see any significant discrepancies between your losses and your MOD sheet?  If so, dig deeper and understand why and where the differences are!
  4. Do the payrolls for every policy period match your audited payroll figures?  If you paid additional premium one year in an audit, you want to make sure you’re getting credit for that additional payroll and premium on your EMR!

If red flags go up as you’re checking your MOD sheet, take notes, send your agent a quick email and make sure you KNOW and UNDERSTAND you’re getting rated correctly!

Loss Runs, How, When, and Why

While nearly every business owner is familiar with their “loss runs” it’s surprising how many companies aren’t reviewing their claims data on a regular basis.  Loss runs are a snapshot of all your claims, open and closed, for a given period of time.

Listen to this scenario and ask yourself if this is how you operate.  60-90 days out of your insurance renewal your receptionist or office managers are fielding call after call from agents and brokers looking to quote your insurance.  Maybe you “shop” every year or maybe it’s been a few years now and reluctantly you decide it’s time to bid out your insurance.  The new agent comes in and before he can give you the pricing, he needs to get a hold of your loss runs.  The meeting is over and your current agent or carrier reluctantly release the information, knowing very well, you’re making the request for competing agents and brokers.  Maybe when you get your loss runs you notice a claim or two that surprises you, either by a larger payout than you expected or were aware of or perhaps one that’s still open that could be closed.  A quick phone call to your broker and things are fixed or at least you get a good explanation of what happened to make the claim spiral the way it did.

Regardless whether you changed carriers, brokers, or otherwise, this is how many business owners only experience with their loss history.

I’m sure we can all agree there’s a better way to handle this.  At the same time, what if your company isn’t large enough to have a full time risk manager or safety manager who can review the claims on regular basis.  Let’s suppose the burden of reviewing the insurance and claims history is on a CFO, office manager, or owner.  Take it a step further that whoever that individual is just doesn’t have time to review claims on a regular basis.

So what should you do?

  1. Have a policy and procedure in place to handle claims when and if they happen
  2. Make time to check your claims prior to your valuation date- not just when it comes time to market your insurance

These two simple steps can have an immediate and drastic impact on your market rates when you shop the insurance, as well as the price you’ll pay for years to come.

Next post we’ll review the dollar impact with some claims examples.

You can't manage what you don't understand.