5 Things that Small Business Owners Should Know About Workers' Comp

July 12, 2019

Travelers Indemnity Company

Illustration of a small business owner on the phone discussing workers' comp insurance with her independent insurance agent.There are nearly 30 million small businesses in America.1 Owners of these small businesses make potentially tough decisions about workers compensation coverage that can impact their employees and bottom line alike. These decisions don’t have to be complex or stressful. The key is to help owners understand what drives workers compensation insurance costs, so they can make an informed decision.

These five strategies can help small business owners properly evaluate their workspace risks and better manage insurance costs.

1. Be mindful of the modern workspace

The top causes of workplace injuries haven’t changed over the past two decades. What is changing, however, are the ways in which employees may suffer those injuries. Today’s workplaces thrive with modern technology, but also face an ever-growing exposure to risk from those same advances.

For example, many small business owners are shifting from bulky point-of-sale systems to sleek tablets. Without the ergonomically correct holders to support them, employees risk neck injuries from looking down at the screen too long.

Small business owners need to understand and prepare for such risks by taking the necessary steps to adapt to new versions of old hazards.

2. Embrace the new workforce

As the demographics of today’s workforce evolve, small business owners must consider the unique risks that job responsibilities present to workers of different ages. For example, baby boomers with lots of experience may be more at risk for certain types of injuries than millennials. Younger, less experienced employees are part of a multi-tasking generation that can face entirely different types of accidents or injuries in the workplace.

Regardless of the type of business, it’s important to consider the types of injuries that can occur at different stages of the employee lifecycle.

Keeping small business owners mindful of the experiences and life stages of the people who work for them can help them anticipate the associated risks.

3. Put safety first

For small businesses, operations are often small and resources tend to be tight. Every person counts. Day-to-day operations can be seriously disrupted if an employee is out for an extended time period.

Business owners need the right resources and expert advice to help them protect employees and create a safer workplace. Partnering with a top workers comp insurance provider offers the robust resources that can help build informed decisions about workplace safety and risk management.

Helping small business owners identify workplace risks and recommending strategies that can help them prevent worksite accidents, can reduce disruptive downtime and increase the potential for a safer return to work in the event of an injury.

4. Reduce impact of medical costs

Healthcare is a $3.0 trillion2 industry that continues to grow along with the aging population boom. Expenses related to healthcare can impact business owners in ways other than their benefits.

The way in which workers compensation claims are handled by an insurance company can make a world of difference in both the outcome for an injured employee, as well as the overall costs to the employer.

By working with the right insurance carrier, small business owners can gain access to dedicated claim professionals that are integrated with preferred access to top-quality physicians and pharmacies. Comprehensive medical strategies and concierge care services can also be leveraged. Over time, this can lead to lower future medical and insurance premium costs and offer a great value to your customers.

5. Manage workplace risks

Much in the same way that driving or credit history is recorded, a business owner’s claim or loss history is also collected. Their workers compensation claims history is used to determine a multiplier factor called an “experience modification” (e-mod). This e-mod factor directly impacts cost, and can lower premium.

Similar to driver or credit history, this rating follows businesses to any insurance company they choose to do business with.

Ensuring small business owners are proactive and conscientious about managing workplace risk is a direct action they can take to help keep insurance costs down.

Are you using the right workers' comp provider for your clients?

Make sure that a provider can check these boxes:

  • Do they put your clients’ employees first?
  • Can they offer access to proprietary risk control services?
  • Are flexible payment options available?
  • Will they provide responsive service?
  • Is there an established local presence?

Travelers insurance logo

To learn more about Travelers workers compensation coverage, visit travelers.com/smallbusiness or contact your local Travelers Select Accounts representative or Smart Choice Territory Manager.

The Travelers Indemnity Company and its property casualty affiliates. One Tower Square, Hartford, CT 06183 © 2018 The Travelers Indemnity Company. All rights reserved. Travelers and the Travelers Umbrella logo are registered trademarks of The Travelers Indemnity Company in the U.S. and other countries. BSLAD.002F-D New 7-18

1 According to the U.S. Census Bureau. 
2 According to the National Conference of State Legislatures. http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/health-finance-issues.aspx

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