One of the best ways to lower your worker's comp costs is by reducing the number of incidents. Being proactive about safety is a fleet's best defense against worker's comp claims.
"To avoid getting hurt, you really have to think 'safety' constantly," says Tad DeOrio, president with TAS Insurance Group. "There are truckers who drive millions of miles without an accident. Truckers can go years without getting hurt. If you talk to them you find out that safety is not an accident. Eliminating injuries and damage is always the best policy and it will reduce your insurance costs over time."
Consultant Timothy Brady, who works with small fleets and owner-operators, agrees. He notes that worker's comp rates are typically set and controlled by each state based on the risk of a particular industry. "Truckers are more costly to insure than accountants, as the likelihood of on-the-job injury is greater for the trucker.
"So your best bet to control claims to your WC policy is through proactive measures such as best safety practices education for your employees and constant review of your equipment and premises to be sure all have the entire list of safety mechanisms in place."
Marsh's Jeff Woodcock says taking an integrated approach to worker's comp by looking at pre-loss and post-loss responses is the best policy.
"Now that you have this loss, what you have to do is address the severity and put in place a return to workplace program," he says. "One trend we are seeing is with predictive modeling it is easier to earlier identify potentially really severe claims.
"One key feature is identifying if these drivers will go back to work and what it will take to get them back. By identifying that earlier, they can get the best medical help right away, which can reduce the overall cost.