Putting a positive spin on workers’ compensation.
Friedlander is president of Friedlander Group, a company that specializes in workers’ compensation. As such, he has a vested interest in getting companies to have a positive perception of this often-maligned form of insurance, which he says can be a “lightning rod” as well as a “political football.” Friedlander’s approach in this well-written, helpful book is to focus on what employers can do to minimize workers’ compensation claims in the first place. He believes that by creating a “culture of caring,” employers can effectively save money on workers’ compensation, because “that culture will maximize your productivity, efficiencies, and profits.” His basic premise is that employees and management who work collaboratively to eliminate unsafe acts and conditions will see claims go down and, as a result, profits will go up. On the surface, this seems almost simplistically obvious, but Friedlander supports his argument with an explanation of how “experience modification”—the manner in which an insurance company modifies an employer’s workers’ compensation premium by its claims experience— actually has a much greater impact on cost than the premium. Shopping around for low premiums, writes Friedlander, might save a company 10 to 20 percent, while “experience modifications range from up to a 40 percent discount to a 100 percent additional premium,” so the real cost to the employer is hidden in the claims filed by its employees. As a result, focusing on safety and employees’ well-being is the real way to manage workers’ compensation costs. This revelation alone makes the book valuable, along with several eye-opening interviews with workers’ compensation experts. Employers will gain insight into such key issues as claims and premium fraud, abuse of the system, loss control and reducing the cost of claims. Friedlander includes an “Appendix,” which is essentially a sales pitch for his company, and two of the interviews are with his own employees. Though self-serving, they don’t detract from the core content.
A thoughtful book that could actually save employers some serious money.