Posted on May 19, 2014
If South Carolina workers comp regulators have their way, employers in the state will see an increase in the cost of their workers compensation insurance. The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) suggested that South Carolina workers comp loss cost rates be increased by 7.3 percent next year.
If the Insurance Commissioner approves the change, this rate increase will be the first in four years. The NCCI recommendation is based on increasing medical and indemnity expenses as well as lost time claim frequencies. Their findings are that all three of these factors put increasing pressure on the system. As an example, the average claim cost for South Carolina is $33,000.
Added system pressure is felt because while the cost of handling claims is increasing, the insurance premiums coming in to insurers statewide are decreasing. This can most likely be attributed to a poor economy and higher than average jobless rate.
While South Carolina employers cannot control what the Insurance Commission decides with regard to workers compensation rate increases, they can work to help contain medical costs when they experience a worker injury. By implementing a safety program, companies can help to prevent injuries from happening in the first place. When an injury does occur, the following can help control costs:
· Develop relationships with occupational medical providers - find a clinic that specializes in workers compensation and occupational injuries. Provide staff with job descriptions and requirements so that when injured workers present for care, the medical staff can properly work on their recovery.
· Train employees on workers comp claim procedures - when someone is hurt on the job, employees need to know where to report injury, file a claim and obtain treatment.
· Properly train managers on how to handle employees with injuries - teach them to properly monitor employee claims from start to finish.
By gaining control of the company's injury prevention program and training employees on workers comp injury procedures, South Carolina businesses will be in a better position to receive lower rates due to a better claim/loss history.