Online training can be a cost-effective option for insurance companies

By Sharon Carney October 15, 2013

In today’s economic climate, many carriers have been forced to sacrifice their training programs to save money. Costs for traditional training methods are often prohibitive. Registration fees and travel and lodging expenses can amount to thousands of dollars per employee per course.

Yet most managers realize that their staff needs continuing education to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.

Many companies provide peer training for their premium auditors, which can be helpful, particularly for new hires. But few companies are able to provide comprehensive training on rules. And as all auditors know, the NCCI Workers' Compensation Basic Manual and ISO’s General Liability Manual are chock-full of language that can cause confusion and pitfalls for even the most experienced auditor.

For instance, take a look at Rule 28.B.3.d. of ISO’s General Liability Manual:

If an employee’s work involves more than one classification with different exposure bases, assign the entire payroll of such employees to the appropriate classification where payroll is the exposure base.

What, exactly, does that rule mean? And how would a premium auditor apply it to a risk?

Let me provide an example to illustrate:

John Smith operates Smith’s Carpet Emporium. Although Smith’s Carpet Emporium installs any product it sells, the store will occasionally install carpeting that other stores sell. That means that these two classifications apply to Smith’s Carpet Emporium:

Now let’s say that one of John Smith’s employees spends 75% of his time on the installation of carpeting sold by Smith’s Carpet Emporium and 25% of his time on the installation of carpeting sold by other stores. Under Rule 28.B.3.d., an auditor would assign 100% of that employee’s payroll to Code 94569 — because that code uses payroll as the premium basis.

The above example is just one of — literally — thousands of scenarios that can cause confusion when auditing a risk. How can companies provide training on such critical information?

Online training as a cost-effective and efficient option

Online training programs give your staff access to interactive training courses that help them do their jobs better — on demand from any computer with an Internet connection. Such training can:

  • give your auditors the information they need on demand to streamline the audit process
  • reduce the number of reaudits
  • cut audit processing costs
  • understand the issues on audit disputes
  • decrease time spent on audit reviews
  • reduce test audit errors

And if you offer training across your organization — to underwriters, for example — you can even help your underwriters write new business accurately.

Find out more about PAAS Connect — a new interactive, web-based training tool. Then let me know what types of training you’d like to see us offer.

Sharon Carney

Sharon L. Carney is assistant vice president of the Premium Audit Advisory Service (PAAS), a unit of ISO, and has more than 30 years of insurance industry experience.