Risk ManagementTalking Shop

Talking Shop: Who Owns Global Workers’ Comp Insurance?

By July 19, 2023July 26th, 2023No Comments

Editor’s note: NeuGroup’s online communities provide members a forum to pose questions and give answers. Talking Shop shares valuable insights from these exchanges, anonymously. Send us your responses: [email protected].

Context: Oversight of insurance—policies for directors and officers, property, cybersecurity, product liability and other risks—is among the responsibilities of many finance organizations in the NeuGroup Network. As for workers’ compensation coverage, one treasurer and NeuGroup member responsible for insurance at his current and former employer said, “my experience is that the department which is responsible for the overall corporate insurance programs would place/renew the policy.”

  • He added that workers’ comp “is usually part of the casualty placement—general liability, automobile, umbrella and workers’ comp.” However, claims are not filed through treasury where he has worked; they are filed by HR or by employees directly.

Member question: “Where in your organization does the management and ownership of global workers’ comp exist?

  • “We are having a debate internally as to who should own workers’ comp globally. It is treasury’s opinion that HR/benefits should own this, but I wanted to understand where this exists in your organization.”

Peer answer 1: “I went through similar internal discussions a while ago. It used to be in treasury, but I moved it to workplace services (WPS). At that time, I found out the WPS organization had a nurse and an ergonomics professional to minimize claims. So I made the argument that this function would be best placed where the loss control operation is.

  • “We continue handlining workers’ comp insurance, but HR is in charge of collecting and managing all data. Our involvement is limited to renewing contracts with the broker; [another third-party] manages claims with WPS.
  • “Outside the US, workers’ comp is managed by HR.”

HR in charge: Seven peers said HR owns workers’ comp at their companies. Four of them offered additional information:

  1. “HR owns it; we have to work with them on rebalancing the collateral account based on coverage changes.”
  2. “HR owns, but per policy, treasury/the CFO must approve the policy and any funding requests for the deductible portion.”
  3. “HR owns; treasury evaluates and selects the insurance provider.”
  4. “HR owns it and works with risk management/treasury. However, at my past employer it was owned by treasury as part of a holistic risk management function. If workers’ comp is retained by HR, it demands a link with the risk management team/treasury as the global excess program must attach to the underlying workers’ comp program and HR’s choice of insurer matters.”

A company where treasury owns workers’ comp: “We place the insurance; claims are submitted to treasury/risk management electronically; we manage the claims with our internal/external partners; we help direct medical care; we facilitate back to work discussions with employees.

  • “Of course, there is communication with internal HR, legal and other teams as part of that coordinating process.”
Justin Jones

Author Justin Jones

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