CompWest Quarterly – April 2022
AF Group Workers’ Compensation Division Announces National Account Unit
We’re excited to announce a new National Account unit within AF Group’s Workers’ Compensation Division. National Account products and services are designed for customers seeking alternatives to guaranteed cost workers’ compensation, such as retrospective rating and large deductible plans. For the last several years, we’ve successfully written loss sensitive plans primarily appointed with our United Heartland brand, and we’re excited to begin expanding our National Account footprint across all work comp brands. All existing agencies contracted with an AF Group brand will have access to National Accounts, at the enterprise level, without requiring a separate contract or addendum.
Our National Account team is uniquely poised for growth in the market given our approach to provide our customers with comprehensive cost mitigation strategies that are bundled into our products and services at no additional cost. Key features of our approach to cost mitigation include:
- Our treatment of ALAE is transparent and an industry-leading financial differentiator to our mutual customers.
- Proactive claim and medical management services that help reduce the overall cost of risk, including use of our patented Care Analytics® platform to connect the injured worker with an experienced occupational physician. As a result, our overall average claims costs are 20 percent below the industry average.
- Claims adjusters who have extensive jurisdictional knowledge and experience.
- Loss control experts who develop individual loss control strategies for each location.
- A risk management information system that’s updated daily and allows you to view your most current loss trends.
If you have any questions about National Accounts, please contact Guy Couillard, director of National Accounts for AF Group’s Workers’ Compensation Division, or your business development consultant.
AF Group recently rolled out a new claims texting tool as an exciting addition to our existing suite of services and technologies available to our mutual customers. Thank you for the role you played in helping us implement this important change for our organization — your feedback is invaluable.
After vetting results from a survey conducted in July 2021, we learned that more than 80 percent of policyholders prefer to text with their insurance provider over other methods of communication. With texting being so widely adopted, these results were no surprise – but certainly a catalyst for us to move swiftly on this opportunity.
Since the launch, we’ve received positive feedback on the ease of exchanging messages, documents, appointment reminders and photos between our claims professionals, policyholders and injured workers. Furthermore, information gathered through texting is automatically added to our claim system, which accelerates approvals and payments – taking the customer experience to a new level.
The tool even offers real-time texting translation in more than 10 languages, strengthening the relationships we have with our non-English speaking customers.
As always, thank you for helping us stay on the competitive edge of insurance technologies and supporting our mission to provide superior customer service, while finding new and exciting ways to optimize our operations.
For more information about our texting initiative, please feel free to visit these additional resources:
- Claims Texting Marketing Flyer
- AF Group Subsidiaries Expedite and Improve the Workers’ Compensation Workflow with Real-time, Two-way Text Messaging
Share Your Feedback on Our New Portal
It’s been more than six months since we unveiled our new quote and bind portal — and we’d like to hear how things are going for you. Your feedback helps us continuously improve your experience, so please take a moment to tell us your thoughts in this brief survey.
As you continue to explore the portal, we’ve developed several short training videos to help you with some common functions, including:
- Conducting account and policy searches
- Attaching and finding documents
- Making a payment
- Making policy changes
- Setting up auto-pay
These tutorials are available within the portal’s Resource Library, found in the left-hand menu. Simply expand the library to find the training materials under the category “Website Instructions – Agent.”
Finally, we want to share a reminder that commission statements are now arriving by email to the main contact on file for your agency for policies effective on or after Jan. 5, 2022.
Note that all communications to your agent inbox are sent to your location’s main contact email address on file (which may or may not be the same as your agency principal email address). This includes commission statements, claims and policy-related notifications.
As such, if you make a change to your desired email address for commissions, this will impact all communications we send to you. Questions can be directed to Commission_Inquiries@AFGroup.com, while any changes or additions to email addresses can be sent to AgencyRelations@AFGroup.com.
Thank you for your continued flexibility and feedback as we continue to enhance your digital experience!
Senate Bill 114
Senate Bill 114, which was approved by the California Legislature in Feb. 2022, requires employers with 26 or more employees to provide supplemental paid sick leave for specific COVID-19-related reasons. The law is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2022, and remains in effect until Sep. 30, 2022.
Employers are required to display these posters in the workplace:
- 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Poster (English)
- 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Poster (Spanish)
A list of frequently asked questions can be found here:
Premium Audit Process
When a workers’ compensation policy is purchased, the premium on that policy is estimated based on your business operations and exposures. Throughout the life of the policy, those exposures and payroll might change, resulting in a higher or lower premium. During a premium audit, which is conducted at the expiration of the policy period, actual exposures and classifications are compared to what was estimated to determine the final premium.
We understand that the word ‘audit’ can sound daunting, but rest assured, our team will be there to guide you. And, in some cases, audits actually save our customers money, which is another reason it’s such an important part of the work comp policy process!
For more information on a premium audit and how we provide support throughout the process, click here.
Agency Education Opportunities
Our Agency Education team has a number of virtual and in-person courses planned for this year, including our popular Certified Authority on Workers’ Compensation (CAWC) designation.