Mention the words “workers comp” in the presence of a school district business official or a school benefits administrator and you are sure to get an eye roll and big grunt of disgust. It is a thorn on the side of many districts that have been dealing with increasing claims costs, maintaining records, and of course replacing the work that was performed by the employee who is now out. Obviously, schools should strive to reduce the likelihood that an event can occur leading to a workers comp claim by implementing safety protocols that are continually assessed and communicated to all employees. Another strategy is to offer accident/disability insurance. How does that work?
A survey conducted by Lieberman Research Worldwide in 2014 noted that those organizations who offered accident/disability insurance reported declines in workers comp claims. The online survey asked 600 employers from small, medium and large companies in the U.S. if they provided accident/disability insurance and if so, if they noted any decline in workers’ comp claims. For the purposes of the survey, a small employer was defined as one with 3–99 employees. Medium employers had 100–499 employees, while large employers had 500 or more. The results: 55% of large companies and 34% of small-medium companies experienced a decline in the worker’s comp claims. In addition, the survey also inquired about the significance of the declines with having both voluntary accident and disability insurance and resulted in similar declines in the worker’s comp claims. The findings were similar for companies that provide access to voluntary disability insurance: nearly half (47 percent) of large employers reported overall decreases in workers’ compensation claims. In addition, 43 percent of small companies and 33 percent of medium companies reported declines.
What do these findings mean for schools? The results demonstrate that by making a voluntary accident and disability insurance available to employees, there may be an opportunity to see a decrease in the frequency and expense of workers’ compensation claims. That would mean lower costs and fewer headaches to schools who are already dealing with tough budgets and the tax cap.
Senior Voluntary Director