The Importance of Carrier Stability in Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation insurers should provide solid protection for employers and their employees who get injured at work. Staying in business and doing business the right way as an insurance company requires finding an equilibrium between rates, risk selection and managing risks once an insured is accepted as a policyholder. Elements of carrier stability also include wise investing, quality management, and cautious debt and liquidity decisions. Part of the job of a specialty underwriting and insurance program management firm is to select and contract with insurers that demonstrate these attributes of stability.

When a home care, hospice or medical staffing firm is looking for reliable, responsive but affordable Workers’ Compensation coverage, it typically wants to understand three primary issues: the company underwriting the insurance; the price of coverage; and the full array of product and service options, such as payment options, claims handling and risk management. In today’s market, price may be the first detail that gets attention from management, but that’s not always a recommended approach. A home care or hospice firm does not want to pay a low premium only to find out that they’ve bought poor-quality support for incident prevention or claims handling.

For example, paying an ultra low premium for inferior risk management and claims handling could lead to more injury/illness incidents, longer out-of-work episodes, and/or higher payouts on claims. Not only will those results cost more money as incidents occur; they will also harm a company’s workers’ compensation “experience modifier”. A higher mod will lead to heftier premiums for you no matter where you purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance, all because saving on the front end was more important than overall quality. At Manchester Specialty, we really believe there’s a happy meeting place between pricing and quality, and we seek just that for our clients.

Ability to Pay Claims

It’s crucial that you feel confident your Workers’ Compensation program and insurance carrier will be there for your business when you have a claim. To start with, that means it must have a solid financial rating and outlook as assessed by insurance-rating firms like Best’ Rating or Moody’s and by state regulators, and that it must have a long term commitment to the home health care sector. If your carrier is a subsidiary of a larger conglomerate, you want to know that the parent company isn’t looking to offload that unit. And since many on-the-job injuries require long-term medical care and prescriptions as well as long-term settlements that sometimes involve Medicare, you definitely want surety that your carrier will have the money to pay ongoing claims and maintain a presence in the marketplace.

Well-run Workers’ Compensation carriers will most importantly offer superior claims handling services that do more than paperwork. They will ideally help with coordination of benefits, settlement negotiations, legal defense if needed, prescription drug monitoring, return-to-work programs, medical bill review and numerous other cost-containment and employee-care efforts.

They will also provide proactive risk management services to help you prevent employee injuries and illness in the first place. These services can include a variety of online, by-phone and in-print checklists, manuals, training aides and advisories that apply specifically to the home care, hospice and medical staffing industry.  There is often the ability to coordinate on-site visits for loss prevention as well.

A Workers’ Compensation program and insurer for the home health sector that helps policyholders minimize the frequency and severity of worker injuries will create savings in the long run and be able to offer lower prices. Those insurance companies that invest wisely and have a strong capital profile and good ratings outlook demonstrate longevity and stability. And those that focus on intelligent, efficient claims handling minimize waste and unnecessary losses while still providing appropriate financial support to injured employees. These are the kinds of carriers we work with at Manchester Specialty, and the select group that we feel our clients will benefit from.

At Manchester Specialty Programs, we offer Workers’ Compensation coverage from select top-tier insurance companies as part of our “all lines” business insurance offering for the home care and hospice industry. Multiple tools and strategies accompany our coverage to help clients minimize risk – and maximize value.  For more information about our products and services, you or your local agent/broker can contact us at 855.972.9399.