Insight: An Agent Resource

Are you selling what Texas employers really need?

Workers' compensation costs are an ongoing challenge for Texas businesses.

Have you offered your clients an alternative that will reduce costs, offer greater treatment coordination, and provide higher return-to-work rates and improved care for workers?

A third of all Texas employers - including many well-known companies - are nonsubscribers. Texas employers making the Nonsubscription election include Fortune 1000 companies, middle market companies and smaller, 'mom and pop', business. And yet only a small fraction of insurance agents offers their clients nonsubscription alternatives.

The original idea behind the state-run workers' compensation system was a grand bargain between injured employees and their employers. Injured workers gave up their rights to sue their employers, and in return, the workers were guaranteed benefits defined by law.

But over time, the system became captive to the attorneys and doctors who earn their livings from the misfortune of injured workers. Eventually, it grew to serve them better than it did either the injured workers or their employers.

You can be the agent of change for your clients by steering them toward a better way.

Nonsubscription is simply a term used for employers that choose to opt out of the state's workers' compensation system. Texas is the only state in the Union to allow this, giving Texas employers an advantage many don't even know about yet.

Clients that opt out in Texas may purchase insurance (typically policies from $1 to $25 million) to manage the risks associated with employee injuries. Each carrier has their own form, and no two are the same.

The nonsubscriber option gives employers the opportunity to develop an alternative worker injury program that allows for a voluntary benefits program, employers' liability protection and the ability to self-administer claims via a third-party claims administration plan.

The key component to the Texas Nonsubscription Program is a clear and concise Employee Injury Benefit Plan that mirrors the culture of the insured, while providing high-quality benefits to its Texas employees.

The goal of a nonsubscription benefit plan is to provide high-quality medical care to injured employees and get them back to work. Typical return rates are about 99 percent. These plans provide high-quality medical care in an effective and cost-efficient manner, protecting company assets by controlling claims costs and reducing the risk of litigation.

Nonsubscription provides employers the ability to customize their work injury plans, including details on benefits, compliance and reporting timelines, and confirmation of medical providers to be utilized. They also provide the option to use arbitration as a more predictable forum for dispute resolution of employee claims, reducing the cost of litigation and avoiding the complication of a public controversy.

There is no approval needed from the state to become a nonsubscriber. All it takes is an agent ready to offer a product clients will value.

Look for trusted providers such as The Combined Group Insurance Services and Anchor Risk & Claims to offer your clients high-quality nonsubscription services and solutions. Contact us and we'll put you in a position to elevate your game.

ALL ABOUT YOU: Time Management

There are only 24 hours in a day. Unless you have access to a time machine, you only have a certain number of hours every day to get everything done that you need to do. For many of us, this can feel like an insurmountable challenge. Things pile up. We are always doing but never done.

For those of us without time machines, time management is the most important tool we have at our disposal to help us be effective instead of being merely busy. The No. 1 tried-and-true time management technique is prioritization. But really, what does that mean?

Your priorities should consist of two things:

  1. Things that are valuable to you/bring you meaning or purpose
  2. Things that are your responsibility

Sometimes these things overlap. For instance, it makes you feel valuable to do your work well, but it is also your responsibility as an employee/employer. Spending quality time with your children is something you cherish, but it is also your responsibility as their parent to ensure they are cared for.

When you're crunched for time, things that are simply urgent can start to feel important, even if they aren't. Instead of being rushed, step back and ask yourself, does this need to be a priority today?

Challenge: Write out a task list for today. For each task, ask yourself, "Is this task valuable to me? Is it my responsibility?" Prioritize the tasks that get an unequivocal "yes."