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2014 Workers’ Comp and Safety Survey: Employers’ Awareness, Concerns Increase

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Written By
Kory Wells

Results from Zywave’s 2014 Workers’ Compensation and Safety Survey are recently out, and I couldn’t be more proud of the insurance and work comp professionals in our industry niche. That’s because the year-over-year trends of this annual survey indicate you’re effectively communicating some key concepts we’ve been discussing for a long time.

If you’ve ever read my blog or heard me speak in the past, you may have thought – with good reason –  that I sound like a broken record player on a couple of my discussion points. I prefer to say I’m passionate about promoting the following concepts concerning workers’ compensation insurance:

  • All employers who have a mod should know that mod value and understand how it impacts their premium
  • All employers with a mod should also know their minimum mod

To that end, in 2012 we added some questions about experience rating to our annual survey. The results of one of those questions, as I wrote in 2012, pointed to a “stunning” opportunity. We posed the question

Do you know the value of your company’s minimum mod (also known as “loss-free rating”)?

In 2012, only 12% of respondents said yes. In 2013, there was a little more awareness. And in 2014 – look at the gain!

Employer awareness of the minimum mod has increased over 60% in the past two years.
Zywave Workers’ Compensation and Safety Survey results, 2012 through 2014.


Clearly, those employers who know their minimum mod are still in the minority, but awareness has increased over 60% in only two years. Your outreach to employers on work comp experience rating metrics is making a difference!

Another area of notable change this year involved the following survey prompt:

Please rate your concerns on these workers’ comp issues for your business

While the overall rankings of employers’ concerns remained similar to 2013, an increasing percentage of employers reported that they are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about various issues in 2014, as the following chart shows.

Zywave Workers’ Compensation and Safety Survey results, 2013 compared to 2014.


Notably, the greatest percentage increases in concern involved:

  1. Carrier stability – a 20% increase in concern from 2013
  2. Increasing exposures – a 19% increase in concern from 2013
  3. Prescription drug abuse – an 18% increase in concern from 2013
  4. Cost control (post-accident) – a 15% increase in concern from 2013
  5. Risk control (accident prevention) – a 14% increase in concern from 2013

Various leaders in the work comp industry have been very focused on prescription drug abuse in the past few years, so it’s particularly good to see that employer awareness is increasing in this arena.

Many opportunities remain, survey shows

Last year at this time, I suggested that there seemed to be a disconnect between employers and the work comp industry. While I’m thrilled to be changing my tune somewhat in light of this year’s survey results, obviously there’s still a lot of education and dialog for all of us to continue. To look at just a few opportunities from another angle:

  • 67% of employers are neutral or unconcerned about prescription drug abuse
  • 61% are neutral or unconcerned about co-morbidity issues such as obesity and diabetes
  • 43% are neutral or unconcerned about risk control/accident prevention
  • 39% are neutral or unconcerned about post-accident cost control
  • 80% either don’t know their minimum mod or are not familiar with the term

While an employer’s concerns certainly may vary by industry, locale, and other factors, I think this shows we still have our work cut out for us.

What are you doing to motivate employers with both data and stories? If you’re not talking about the minimum mod, why not? Do the top and growing concerns reflected in the survey resonate with what you’re experiencing when you talk with employers?

As always, I welcome your comments!

– Kory Wells, WorkCompEdge Blog Editor
© 2014 Zywave, Inc.  All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact the blog editor.

More about the survey:

The 2014 Workers’ Compensation & Safety Survey was conducted in early 2014 by Milwaukee-based Zywave, a provider of software-as-a-service solutions for the insurance and financial services industries. Approximately 1,100 employers nationwide participated in the survey. Full survey results are available to Zywave partners in Broker Briefcase P&C Edition.

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