Workers comp costs can become a big burden for small businesses – and large ones, too. Are you doing everything you can to manage workers comp costs?
There have been proposed cuts to the cost of workers comp in Florida, which is great news.This rate decrease would begin next year, allowing businesses to free up their funds for other things. However, you still need to find ways to pay your workers comp costs in the meantime. And even if the rates go down, you’ll still want to be sure you aren’t paying more than you should.
How can you keep the costs of workers comp down? Here are our top ways to make this important aspect of running your business more affordable.
- Use Correct Job Descriptions
There are hundreds of different workers comp classifications. Using the correct ones will help make sure you’re not paying more than you should.
These classifications relate to the type of work your employees do. Most businesses will need more than one classification to be accurate. For example, if you hire contractors, you’ll need the right kind of classification for them, as opposed to your everyday workers.
You can work with your insurance agent to go over your classifications and make sure they’re correct by giving detailed descriptions of what you do on a daily basis.
- Have a Great Safety Program
No matter where you do business, having an excellent safety program in place is one effective way to keep workers comp down. Although this might seem all too obvious, now is a good time to review your safety program. Even if it seems to be working, there might be things you can fix to help prevent expensive future issues.
If workers are injured on the job frequently, you’ll need to pay more for workers comp. Make sure you have someone on your team whose job is to handle safety programs, training, and the like. You also don’t have to tackle this task on your own. Your workers comp insurance provider can offer you a consultant to help you manage your safety program.
Education and protection have been shown to prevent a great deal of job-related injuries. The more you work on prevention, the less you’ll have to pay in workers comp.
- Hire the Best Carrier
If the insurance carrier for your workers comp has never changed, you might not know what else is out there. But a different carrier might be able to provide you with lower rates, or other solutions to meet your business needs.
No matter what your business size is, there are strategies that can help you save money on workers comp. Don’t just stick with the same carrier because it’s what you’re used to – be open to possible changes, and the benefits that can come with them.
- Focus on the Return to Work
Keeping work-related injuries to a minimum is crucial. However, in spite of your best efforts, some workers may still get injured on the job. No matter how rare this situation is, you should have a plan for getting an injured worker back to work.
If you can get a worker back to work sooner, you won’t have to pay as much for their time away. This can also help the worker feel secure – if they’re away for too long, they might start to worry about losing their place in the company.
Find light duty work that someone who’s recovering will be able to take on at your company, so they can transition back sooner. If you can be flexible in offering different assignments to a recovering worker, you’ll be able to have them back on the company floor faster.
- Watch Payroll Carefully
Payroll projection determines how much you’ll pay for a worker’s comp policy. It’s important to make that projection as accurate as you can, so you’re not accidentally paying the wrong amount.
However, once you make the projection, your work isn’t done. You should watch payroll carefully throughout the year to make sure it matches – or at least comes close to – your projection. If it doesn’t, get in touch with your insurance agent so they can make adjustments as needed.
If you don’t make these adjustments, you might get audited later on and find out that you’ve over paid or underpaid and find yourself with a bill at the end of the policy period. But even if you don’t, you may have lost money by paying the wrong amount for months. It’s better to always watch your payroll for changes so that you can give the right projection. One of the benefits of a PEO policy is that your payments are based on what you actually report each pay period. Basically like the electric bill, you pay for exactly what you use and this is the reason that PEO policies do not require audits as you are paying based on what you report each pay period.
- Try Managed Care
Florida is one of the many states that allow for managed care arrangements. These arrangements can help keep costs down.
In managed care workers comp, you have more control over the physician or healthcare provider an injured worker can see. This provides a way for you to keep costs down, and the physician will be incentivized to get the worker back to work as soon as possible.
- Go Over Your Audit
Sometimes, even the best insurance company can make a mistake. It doesn’t hurt to go over your audit and see if there are any hidden or extra costs that could be avoided.
Every year look over your audits, as well as the ways your premiums are calculated. The more knowledgeable you are about exactly what you’re paying for, the easier it will be to tell if there’s an extra cost that doesn’t need to be there.
- Understand Florida’s Workers Comp Requirements
The more you know about the workers comp requirements in Florida, the more control you have over avoiding any extra costs. This is another reason to shop around for the right agent. You’ll want to hire someone who has specific experience with your state and its requirements.
Looking to Save on Your Workers Comp Costs?
Every business, large or small, should take these steps to save on their workers comp costs. Why pay more than you need to for this required part of doing business?
Not sure what kind of workers comp policies are best for your business? While you work to reduce your costs, make sure to read our guide to stand alone versus pay as you go workers comp options.