If you’re like most small business owners, you probably don’t expect to ever pull that Workers’ Compensation policy out of your drawer. One of the necessities of business, it was purchased and then promptly stored . . . but renewed annually.
Then it happens. One of your employees is injured on the job. You want to make sure you handle your end properly, but you’re new to the process. You may not even know that any hold up on your part could delay payments for your employee. So here’s a few tips on handling claims like an insurance pro. . . .
#1 Make sure you keep your Workers’ Compensation policy in an accessible location. When you need to report a claim, having all your policy information at your fingertips (including instructions on how to actually go about reporting the claim!) is very helpful.
#2 Contact your insurer directly to notify them of your claim. Snail mail will only slow down the process, and that first contact with your insurance company is a great opportunity to gain an understanding of the claims process and get any questions you may have answered.
#3 Complete and return required forms as soon as possible and be sure to review your completed documents before returning them. Overlooking an important piece of required information could potentially cause a delay. Also, be sure to note the location where each form should be returned – some need to go to your insurer while others need to be filed with your state’s insurance department.
#4 Comply with any other requests for information in a timely manner. This action will help your insurer complete their investigation as soon as possible.
#5 Keep records of all your documentation and tell your employee to do the same. This precaution is good advice for any insurance situation. Plus, if something gets lost in the mail, etc., you have another copy ready to go.
I hope you never have to take that Workers’ Compensation policy out of your drawer. If you do, you’ll be prepared.
About the Author
Dan Hohal is an experienced Claims Supervisor for Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies. For the past 10 years, he has successfully adjusted and managed hundreds of workers’ compensation claims. Dan graduated from Marywood University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and is currently working toward his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). He has received a wide variety of specialized claims training and was awarded a Certified Auto Claims Specialist designation in 2009. He was a member of the United States Air Force and was Honorably Discharged. In addition to these professional accomplishments, Dan is a black belt martial arts instructor.