In most states, if you own a small business and have more than a handful of employees, you are required to carry workers’ comp insurance coverage. Protecting your employees from accidents on the job is an essential aspect of workplace safety. While workers’ compensation coverage often feels like just another expense you must budget for, it can end up saving your company a lot of money when your employees become injured or fall ill following a workplace accident. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find inventive ways to lower your workers’ comp costs and protect your employees at the same time. It’s likely that finding new ways to save on your business insurance costs is essential to keeping your company running smoothly during the slower months. Keep reading to learn more.
How Can I Save Money on Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
In Wisconsin, workers’ comp insurance is required for all businesses that have three or more employees. That means that most business owners should be looking for ways to save on their annual premium costs. So, what’s the quickest way to make sure you’re getting a comprehensive policy at a fair price? Shopping with an independent insurance agency is a great place to start.
Independent insurance agencies aren’t contracted to represent a single provider like captive agents. Instead, they can take down your information, discuss exactly what you’re looking for in terms of coverage, and come back with quotes from a wide range of insurance providers—typically 3 to 8 different companies. Additionally, independent agencies are happy to check your policy for new discounts periodically, always have a real person available to answer your questions, and will never hesitate to help guide you through the claims process.
Implement a Documented Safety Program
Many states require employers also to produce a written safety program because they have been shown to help business owners see an average of $2 to $6 in return for every dollar they invest in injury prevention. Committing to setting up a smart safety program shows insurance providers that you are serious about protecting your employees from potential accidents. If your company is interested in qualifying for possible insurance discounts, you’ll need to properly document all staff safety training hours and continued education for long-term team members and have employees sign off that they have received all safety materials provided and read them thoroughly.
Build a Return-to-work Program
Starting a return-to-work program can create a direct cost-benefit to your workers’ comp claims. In most cases, the longer a workers’ compensation claim is open, the more it will cost your company. However, a return-to-work program makes it possible to proactively help your employees get back to their jobs as soon as they are deemed medically able—even if they return in a modified capacity at first. You may have the option to bring them back with part-time hours or simply assign them light-duty work until you get the go-ahead to resume regular work practices from their medical provider.
Promote a Substance-Free Workplace
Did you know that studies indicate staff members who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work cost employers twice as much in workers’ compensation and medical claims than sober employees? When striving for a drug-free workplace, requiring all employees to pass a pre-employment drug test is essential. The company rules regarding substance abuse should also be clearly outlined in your workplace safety program as well. Additionally, implementing random drug testing can also help to make sure your employees are working in a drug-free zone.