Workers' Compensation: Keeping Your Employees and Your Bottom Line Healthy
By Fran Sarmiento Executive Vice President, Venture Insurance Programs | October 13, 2013
From the moment your guests register at the front desk to the housekeeping team knocking at a guest's door, your employees are the face of your hotel. That's why so much training goes into how employees interact with customers when they check them in, clean their rooms and cook or serve their food.
But it's difficult for your employees to maintain high service levels when they slip, fall or suffer strains and other injuries-all of which are a fact of life in hotels. That's one important reason to focus on employee safety and wellness. Another is the rising cost of workers' compensation insurance, medical care and claims.
In this article, I'll address how hotels can combine loss control, safety and wellness programs with effective claims management to keep a smile on the face of their employees, while also driving down workers' compensation claims and costs.
Workers' compensation rates rose an average of about 10 percent through 2013, and were higher in some places like California. Insurance costs are cyclical, but a hotel's individual loss history, including both the frequency and severity of employee injuries, also has a direct impact on the availability and cost of its workers' compensation insurance for years to come.
Medical costs also continue to rise and affect workers' compensation claims. According to a 2013 report from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), the average medical cost per lost-time claim increased by 3 percent in 2012, after a 3.6 percent increase in 2011.