Survey: Cost Containment Top Employer Workers' Comp Concern

NU Online News Service, March 20, 3:20 p.m. EST

Cost containment tops employers’ list of workers’ compensation concerns, according to a recent survey.

Zywave, a provider of software-as-a-service solutions for the insurance and financial services industries, polled 3,500 employers nationwide from Jan. 6 to Feb. 24 on their top workers’ comp concerns, and found that 59 percent are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about cost containment in 2012.

After cost containment, employers expressed concerns about increasing exposures (35 percent), renewals (35 percent), and rising fraud behaviors (31 percent). Market availability was a concern of 26 percent of respondents, and just over 20 percent were worried about carrier stability.

Participants said the most effective measure they took to control workers’ comp cost was having a safety-minded culture (65 percent).

While 59 percent indicated that a light-duty or return to work program was an effective or highly effective method of controlling costs, only 45 percent of respondents reported having a written return to work policy.

Other popular cost control measures were, according to Zywave, onsite accident evaluations, loss prevention evaluations, zero-accident goals, having a dedicated claims manager, safety committee efforts, and using a preferred occupational medicine facility.

Survey participants came from 20 business sectors, with heaviest representation from manufacturers (17 percent), health care and social assistance providers (15 percent), and construction (13 percent). Survey takers included human resource personnel (36 percent), finance staff (19 percent), CEOs or presidents (16 percent), and other staff, including safety managers, risk managers, and operations directors. Some 57 percent of those participating reported workers’ compensation premiums under $50,000 annually.

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