Good Management Lowers Premiums

How do insurance companies measure good management? And, how does this measurement affect policy premiums?

Insurance companies judge management many ways, including attitude toward safety (cooperation with risk personnel), financially (credit checks), superficially (housekeeping, deferred maintenance), and in depth systems analysis (employee selection process). Positive results earn schedule credits, which reduce premiums.

Schedule credits enable insurance companies to reward those conscientious managements that have a long-term commitment to reduce losses. The insurance company wants to partner with risk-avoiding management, so they lower premiums to attract these risks.

Insurance companies use diagnostic tools to measure the quality of management. Accounting measurements, physical property surveys, human resource surveys, psychological tools and, of course, loss history data combine to paint an overall management picture.

Accounting measurements include reviewing financial statements, credit reports, tax forms, and management control systems. Is everything up to date? Do all the data agree for an easy audit trail? Is the company candid about finances?

Physical risk surveys include a report on management results. An untidy workplace suggests lazy management or an undisciplined workforce. Neither is good for business or loss prevention. If in-house automobile maintenance facilities are not kept neat, management attitude towards maintaining vehicles properly is questioned.

Neat, orderly premises imply pride in ownership and professional management. Deferred maintenance and chaos suggest either poor management, the beginnings of bad credit or absentee, uncommitted ownership.

Sincere interest in loss control surveys, suggestions and recommendations indicates cooperation. Safety is a function of cooperative efforts. Taking corrective actions when asked, keeping OSHA logs up to date, knowledgeable responses to claims questions and having safety equipment on hand and up to date all indicate a safety culture appreciated by insurance companies.

How does the company handle employee recruitment and training, particularly drivers? If this system qualifies employees in terms of knowledge, skill sets and attitude, more appropriate employees will be selected. The insurance company wants evidence of ongoing training for job-specific skills and safety.

The psychology of risk management involves assessing the company’s approach towards safety and loss control. Cooperation, responsiveness to recommendations, forthrightness in interviews, openness to inspections, commitment to safety and good record keeping contribute to management attitude.

The company interested in long-term profitability does not skimp on loss control or maintenance. Easily administered systems remind employees and supervisors of their safety culture.

All these data are collected and reviewed to determine the management input to insurance premium rating: schedule credits. These credits must be rationalized by the underwriter. Schedule credits can impact premiums up to 25%. Good management pays well.

Schedule credits are earned by well-managed, safety-conscious companies. Unfortunately, poorly managed businesses earn debits, increases in premium, the same way.

Take a look around your business today and think about how you can earn a few more credits. And remember, we’re here to help too. 

Tips to Prevent Sprains and Strains At Work

Many jobs require lifting and pushing in one form or another as part of the routine job description. Employees that frequently lift or push objects need to be aware that lifting, pushing, and over reaching can cause strains and sprains. Such injuries typically affect the back, arms, and shoulders and are caused by improper handling techniques. If your job requires you to push, pull or lift during the day, make sure you know how to perform these activities properly.

The first issue to keep in mind is that most strains and sprains happen because people lift objects that weigh too much. Before lifting anything, size up the load to determine if you have the physical strength to lift without straining. If you don’t possess the physical capability, you can either break it down into smaller loads, if applicable, or seek help from a co-worker. If you use carts or hand trucks, be sure they are in good operating condition. These devices can put additional strain on your back if they don’t work correctly or if you overload them.

If it is within your physical capability to lift the load, then be sure that you use the correct procedure. Stand close to the object. Then squat down and bend your knees, not your back. Grip the object firmly and lift slowly. As you lift, straighten your legs until you are standing erect. Carry the load close to your body near your waist. Never lift the object above your shoulders. If you have to turn while lifting, point your feet in the direction you’ll be heading; don’t twist your back.

If you must push or pull a load, bend your knees and use your legs and the weight of your body to move it. Take small steps and keep your stomach muscles tightened. You should lean slightly into the load if you are pushing, and lean slightly out if pulling. Note that it’s always better for your body if you can push rather than pull an object.

Repeatedly lifting heavy objects is the most common cause of strains and sprains. However, injuries can also happen as a result of lifting moderate loads in awkward positions or remaining in a bent-over or twisted position for long periods of time. Remember, the further the load is from your body, the greater strain placed on your back. You should always attempt to position any load you are carrying at waist level. Keep your body as close to the work area as is safely possible. And most importantly, never overestimate your physical ability to lift or carry an object.