Shop Your Policy
While it is not wise to switch carriers every year based on a modest decline in premium, shopping around your policy every few years can help you save on insurance premium. If nothing else, shopping around your policy can confirm or deny that your current insurance carrier is competitive in the current market. Looking at other carriers is one of the first things a business owner should do to ensure they are getting the best price when looking for ways to save in 2019.
Partner with an Independent Agent
The best way to save is to get quotes from numerous carriers all in one place is to partner with an independent agent. An independent agent typically has relationships set up with ten to thirty insurance carriers. With these relationships they are able to shop your policy around to get better coverage at lower rates. They also have the knowledge to know which carriers are hungry to quote your industry or the particular coverage you are looking to secure. This can significantly decrease the time it takes to get your business the best offer.
Understand your Experience Modification Rating
The experience modification rating of a business is one of the single most impactful things a business can control involving what the business pays for all types of insurance. Operating a safe organization and limiting the frequency and severity of claims is the best way to keep this rating low.
Make Sure You Have The Proper Job Classifications
Another one of the best ways to save in 2019 is to take additional time to write complete and accurate job descriptions for each employee. It is equally important to put controls in place so the employees do not step out of their assigned responsibilities. For example, a receptionist who is injured doing heavy lifting could impact your business when a claim is filed. If you use independent contractors, it is important to know if the laws in your particular state consider contractors as employees or not. This can make a significant difference in the amount you pay for workers compensation insurance premium.
Bundle Your Policies
Bundling all insurance policies together is a great idea for two reason. First and foremost, it makes sure there are no gaps in your coverage. Purchasing coverage from multiple carriers can be an extremely expensive mistake for a business. Each carrier has their own specific limitations to each insurance policy. A gap is where the business owner thinks the claim is covered, but there are exclusions within both policies that might cover the claim, but each has a gap. The other benefit to bundling policies is by getting additional credits and discounts from the underwriter. If a carrier knows they are going to get the business of multiple policies, they are much more likely to dig deep and give you extra credits and debits.
Lower Your Limits
Depending upon the specifics of your business, it may be worthwhile to lower the limits of some of your insurance policies. As your equipment ages, there may not be as much of a need to secure the highest limits. Partnering with an independent agent is important in this regard because they can help you determine where you can safely lower your limits and where you should be careful.
Take on a higher deductible.
Taking on a higher deductible can be one of the most effective ways to save in 2019. Higher deductibles can certainly lower the businesses rate of premium. If you do decide to take on a higher deductible, it is important to monitor your businesses cash flow to make sure you can cover the deductible or pay for the loss with cash on hand.
Pay your Premium in full.
If your business has the cash on hand to pay for premium in full for the entire year, it is usually a way to get a discount from your carrier. Spreading out the payments through the year may seem more doable, if you have the ability it is almost always less to pay the premium all in one payment.
Operating a well documented safety program is one of the most effective ways to save in 2019. A Workplace Safety Program can lower the frequency and severity of insurance claims. If this happens it will improve the experience modification rating of the business. This can have long-lasting positive impact on the rate of insurance premium a business pays.
Support A Substance-Free Workplace
As part of any safety program should be a well-documented Drug Policy for all employees. Employees who use drugs and alcohol on the job tend to cause more injuries to themselves and others. Statistics also show they cost the business twice as much for workers compensation claims. Pre-employment drug testing is important and ongoing random tests may be necessary depending upon the nature of your business. A drug policy should not start and end with testing of employees. There should also be some way to help employees dealing with substance abuse issues. partnering with Alcoholics Anonymous or other similar organizations to help any and all employees with a problem get the help and guidance they need is essential to lasting success.
Make your Workplace Ergonomically Friendly
One way to help your employees have a safe and comfortable work environment is to focus on the ergonomics of your office. It may be necessary to customize each individual work space to meet the needs of each individual employee. An employee who is six foot six inches tall will have different needs than someone who is five foot seven inches tall. Meeting the needs of each employee where they are is important to creating an ergonomically friendly environment. This may seem like a large cost up front, but it will be part of the most cost effective ways to save in 2019 for the long run. Limiting injuries that can cause workers compensation claims and cause employees to be out of work for extended periods of time can be done with an ergonomically friendly workplace.
Monitor Employee Morale
Monitoring employee morale is an effective way to keep employees happy and stop disgruntled employees from becoming many disgruntled employees. An unhappy worker can become careless in their work if that festers throughout the organization, it can create an unsafe work environment. . Taking steps to proactive about employee morale can help you deal with employee morale before it becomes a much bigger problem that is much more difficult to control at a later time.
Investigate Near Misses
It is important to create an environment where employees talk to you and your key employees about what has happened throughout the day. If there is a near miss situation it is the perfect teachable moment to show all staff what can happen when dealing with certain situations. It also can be a time when the leadership of an organization can learn and improve upon the businesses operations. Learning from near misses is always one of the best ways to save in 2019
Don’t Ignore Employees out on Workers Comp
When an employee is injured and not able to work. It is important to provide this employee with as much assistance as possible. Stay in communication with those employees in a way to show them you care. This is a way to get the employee back on the job sooner and back to full-time normal work quicker than other employees.
It is important to develop light duty ways for employees to get back on the job when they are hurt and not able to work. The quicker you get an injured employee back on the more likely they are to eventually return to full time permanent work. These programs are better when you plan for them before you have an injured worker. One of the best ways to save in 2019 is to set up a Return To Work Program that can get injured employees back on the job and back in to their work day routine quicker than a business without a plan.
Pay as You Go Workers Compensation Insurance
A Pay as You Go Workers Compensation Insurance Policy is a great option for seasonal or cash strapped businesses. This option allows a business to get coverage in place for a much smaller amount. It also reduces the likelihood of under or overpaying premium throughout the year because premium payments are made each month based upon the real time payroll from the previous month.
Establish a Safety Committee
Establishing a safety committee is a perfect way to get your staff involved in making your business more safe and is one of the best ways to save in 2019. Getting a person from each department is a good place to start. Creating a timeline for regular meetings and what should be done in between meetings. Also, it is important to have documented ways to put in to place everything that comes out of those meetings.