Importance of Immediate Claims Reporting

Written by Blaine Teets

On June 10, 2019

THIS is the perfect example of why we tell insureds to report claims, no matter how insignificant they seem when they happen.

True story:

A mechanic scraped his hand on metal under a car he was working on, but he didn’t tell his employer. The mechanic wrapped his hand in a red, shop rag, didn’t go to the doctor, and let it be. The insured noticed a week later when the employee came to the office to get his paycheck and asked what happened. The insured told the employee to go to doctor to get that looked at, but the employee didn’t go and the insured didn’t report the incident.

A few days later, the employee went to the hospital due to raging infection from the injury. Since then, the employee has been to the hospital a few times and even had surgery on his hand.

The insured called our agency for advice after the employee was forced to seek medical attention. We immediately advised the insured to report the claim to their workers’ comp carrier.  A few weeks later, we received notice of loss from the Carrier, and so far the medical expenses have already reached $258,000.

This claim could have easily been avoided if the employee communicated his injury to the employer.  Had the mechanic sought medical attention right away, a couple hundred dollars and proper care would have probably taken care of the issue.  Now, there is a probable chance that the insured will be forced to incur a significant rate increase over the next couple years because of increased experience mod factors.

Below are a few tips to help eliminate situations such as the story above:

  1. Create a company policy that all injuries, serious or not, are to be reported to management.
  2. It’s always a good idea to send an employee to a physician for any type of injury.
  3. Conduct safety meetings monthly. These meetings do not have to be long; maybe 10 minutes, but make them effective by hitting different topics related to your line of business. By doing this, you will create a safety conscious work environment. Moreover, when an incident does happen; employees will be more open to disclose their injury to management.
  4. Always use your agent to your advantage. They are there to provide you with information to help expedite and better handle claims.

For more information on Workers’ Comp, visit our page HERE.

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