NEW YORK, April 25, 2000 — As more states pursue aggressive enforcement of mandated loss control actions by workers' compensation insurers, Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), is promoting closer contact between insurers and regulators through a series of roundtable discussions across the country.
The meetings, sponsored by ISO's Engineering and Safety Service (E&S) unit, inform insurers of actions they must take in some of the country's biggest markets. So far this year, regulators from Texas, New York, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania spoke to ISO customers about their states' requirements and priorities for ensuring workplace safety. Future meetings will offer forums with loss control regulatory experts from California, Florida, and Arkansas.
The goals of the E&S roundtables are to provide insurers with information on the various differences in state requirements for insurer record-keeping, reporting, and audit, as well as to clarify ambiguities in regulations and insurance-department operating practices. Insurers can face fines of thousands of dollars for not complying with state requirements. Repeat offenders can lose their state insurance licenses.
At a recent meeting in Dallas, Steve Pedersen, chief of accident prevention services for the Texas Workers' Health & Safety Division, discussed the statutory requirements that comp insurers provide on-site or other appropriate services to their policyholders as a condition for doing business in the state.
Pedersen described the most common actions the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission (TWCC) requires of insurers:
"The key to a successful TWCC audit always is complete and proper documentation," said Pedersen. "Insurers should always maintain documentation of all accident prevention services provided to each policyholder."
The need for documentation when fulfilling state loss control requirements was reiterated at an E&S roundtable meeting in King of Prussia, Pa. Harold E. Redding, manager of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers' Compensation's report processing and audit section, emphasized that insurers must maintain proper records as well as employ and make available properly qualified accident and illness prevention personnel that meet the department's standards.
The Pennsylvania meeting also highlighted the differences in loss control requirements between Pennsylvania and New York. Pennsylvania requires insurers to maintain or provide loss control services. But New York requires employers with an annual payroll of $800,000 or more with recent losses that exceed industry averages to have a private consultant or the state conduct a workplace-safety and loss-prevention consultation, or face an insurer-implemented 5 percent surcharge on their manual-rate premium for the next policy period.
E&S' next roundtable will address loss control requirements for California — the country's biggest workers' compensation market. The roundtable will take place at the Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., on May 12. The meeting will feature Robert McDowell, loss control manager, Loss Control Certification Unit, California Department of Industrial Relations; Steve Pedersen, chief of accident prevention services for the Texas Workers' Health & Safety Division; Dr. Sharon Meador, medical director, Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission; and Lee Weaver, director, Division of Safety, Florida Department of Labor. That meeting will be part of the E&S Loss Control Management Conference. For registration information, call ISO at 1-800-888-4476 or visit www.verisk.com/iso.
ISO is a leading source of information about property and liability risk. ISO provides statistical, actuarial, underwriting, and claims information and analyses; consulting and technical services; policy language; and information about specific locations for a broad spectrum of commercial and personal lines of insurance. In the United States and around the world, ISO serves more than 2,900 insurers and reinsurers, as well as agents, brokers, self-insureds, risk managers, insurance regulators, and other government agencies.