Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2017 06 Workers Comp 1

Workers’ comp questions you need to ask today to protect your dental practice tomorrow

June 13, 2017
Even though it's an important part of running a health-care practices, workers' comp might be overlooked by some dentists. It should not be overlooked, and here is what you need to ask to receive good coverage for your employees.

Even though it's an important part of running a health-care practices, workers' comp might be overlooked by some dentists. It should not be overlooked, and here is what you need to ask to receive good coverage for your employees.

Dentists spend a lot of time providing high-quality care to their patients and managing their practice’s day-to-day operations. One thing most of them probably don’t spend much time thinking about is their workers’ compensation insurance, even though it’s a critical part of protecting the well-being of your employees and business.

If you haven’t considered this aspect of your dental practice lately, or if you need additional information, reach out to an insurance agent who can help meet your unique needs. With an understanding of their clients’ businesses, state-specific insurance requirements, and the differences between policies, insurance agents can help dental practice owners protect their assets, minimize risk, and manage costs.

Here are three things to ask your insurance agent about workers’ compensation insurance today, so you can protect your dental practice from whatever might happen tomorrow:

How can I select the best insurance policy for my business?
Talk to your insurance agent about your business and its unique needs. Have your agent identify insurance carriers that have experience with dental practices. Ask your agent for at least three quotes and review them for more than just the price.

Look for a policy that offers you the most value in terms of added services such as loss control resources, a dedicated fraud investigation unit, return to work program support, and flexible payment plans. Some carriers even offer hotlines to help guide you in the event of an employee injury. Such resources can help protect your employees, business, and bottom line.

How is my insurance premium calculated?
Generally speaking, a premium is calculated on the basis of payroll paid by the employer for the services of individuals who could receive workers’ comp benefits for work-related injuries. The insurer groups employers with similar operations. The assigned classification reflects risk exposures common to those employers, and the rate charged reflects the exposure to losses common to those employers. With certain exceptions, it is the employer’s business within a particular state that is classified and not the separate occupations or operations within the business.

Insurers also use experience rating, which recognizes the differences between individual insureds with regard to safety and loss prevention. This is done by comparing the experience of individual insureds with the average insured in the same classification. The differences are reflected by an experience rating modification, and based on individual payroll and loss records. This rating may result in an increase, decrease, or no change in premium. If insureds qualify for experience rating modifications, their premiums could potentially be reduced if they maintain safe work environments.

How can I protect my business?
Workers’ compensation insurance should be one piece of a larger strategy to make employee health and safety an integral part of your business. According to theOccupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), committing to a safety plan by establishing guidelines, routinely training employees in best practices, and correcting deficiencies can reduce workplace injuries, cut workers’ compensation insurance claims, and increase productivity. OSHA states that a good safety and health program can save $4 to $6 for every $1 invested.

Your workers’ comp insurance agent can help design or refresh your safety plan so that it addresses risks your employees may be exposed to during the workday. While there is no one-size-fits-all safety plan, the best ones are woven into the culture of your company and followed by every employee.

Taking care of your employees should be just as important as providing top notch care to your patients. Take the time to talk with an insurance agent about your practice’s needs to find the right insurance coverage and carrier partner for you. Together your insurance agent and carrier can help you take a strategic approach to risk management to protect your dental practice and employees.

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David Quezada is vice president of loss control for EMPLOYERS, America’s small business insurance specialist. Employers offers workers’ compensation insurance and services through Employers Insurance Company of Nevada, Employers Compensation Insurance Company, Employers Preferred Insurance Company, and Employers Assurance Company. Not all insurers do business in all jurisdictions. (Employers and America's small business insurance specialists are registered trademarks of Employers Insurance Company of Nevada.)