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The Agent's Role in Workers' Compensation

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Special to FAIA by the Workers' Compensation Institute 

Far too often, the insurance agent’s role in workers’ compensation has been viewed only as a means of obtaining mandatory workers’ compensation coverage for the Florida employer. When an accident occurs on-the-job, the only personal contact that an employer has with the case is with the insurance agent, and, far too often, the agent’s advice to his customer is to call the claims office for the insurance company.

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For the true professional insurance agent who really is concerned about his customer’s interest—whether it be pricing of premiums payable, types of coverages, prevention of accidents, or handling of claims or just providing much needed general advice to the employer—simply referring the employer to the insurance company provides a great disservice and often adds costs to the ultimate liability of the employer.

This year’s focus at the Annual Workers’ Compensation Conference, sponsored by the Workers’ Compensation Institute is to present two days of breakout sessions for agents/brokers emphasizing the insurance agent’s primary position in making any workers’ compensation system work. The conference takes place August 6–9 at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

Agents play a very significant role in the workers’ compensation system. Agents breakouts will address topics such as: What exactly is the role of the agent/broker in claims handling? What does the claims handler depend upon the agent to do, and what role can the agent play in assisting in the defense of a claim? What role should the agent not assume?

On the other hand, how does the agent fit into the general risk management program of any employer? For a proactive agent, there is unquestionably a significant role in the pricing of workers’ compensation coverages, and helping the risk manager to appreciate how ultimate costs can be reduced by choosing the appropriate coverage and ensuring that the appropriate premiums are paid. Advocacy in regards to the interest of the insured employer is an essential function of providing value added to the employer’s interest and oftentimes contributing significantly to bottom line profitability of the employer.

Together, FAIA and NCCI will provide the most comprehensive educational session for agents/brokers interested in professionalism in the workers’ compensation industry that is available.

A complete program of the agent/broker breakout sessions and the program of the conference as a whole is available online.