Normally we don’t discuss our company products here in the Cluttered Desk. It is a mistake too many companies make with their associated blogs; often turning otherwise good content into little more than marketing pieces for their services. I have to violate that internal rule this morning. One of our products is central to the story, and the irony is just too good to ignore.
For a number of years WorkersCompensation.com has provided the Virtual Claims Kit (VCK), a service offering continually updated digitized posting notices, forms and brochures for newly insured customers or renewal policies. The VCK is offered through an insurance company’s website, where the appropriate documents may be downloaded and printed by the customer or agent. Insurance company and/or claims office info is automatically included on the forms via our FlashFormSSL Auto-population system. A new VCK Compliance module actually bundles and emails the appropriate forms to the insured, copying the carrier for audit verification. The VCK eliminates in most states the need for insurance companies to physically mail these documents. Our VCK service is used by some of the largest insurance companies in the country (this concludes the advertising portion of this post).
The company that provides our workers’ compensation insurance is not a VCK customer. But they should be.
Last December we were completing an audit survey sent to us by a representative company of our workers’ comp insurer. We noticed that they mistakenly listed one of our employees as being based in Texas, when they were actually located in North Carolina. We corrected the information and submitted the audit results. Last week, fully five and a half months later, we received a “claims kit” in the mail with North Carolina posting notices. It came from our insurance company via our local agent.
First, we could not help but notice that the policy period listed on the claims kit cover letter was for last year, dated 1/1/2018 through 1/1/2019. What really got our folks in compliance chortling was that the poster sent, the NC Form 17, was 2 years out of date. North Carolina last updated that document in October of 2017. The posters that were mailed to us were dated November 2014. And they were blank. They had no required contact info listed on them.
This is symptomatic of the challenge’s companies have in the complex regulatory world of workers’ compensation. We see this every day. Our compliance folks maintain a library of over 3,700 jurisdictional forms related to workers’ compensation across 53 jurisdictions. That number is overwhelming in its own right, but then you must factor in that across this nation, the states update between 200-400 forms every quarter. It quickly becomes apparent that keeping up with the requirements in every state is a very difficult thing for insurance companies, TPA’s and related vendors to do.
Unless you use our services, of course. Dangit, there’s that nasty marketing pitch again.
We could not help but send a message to the email address provided with the claims kit pointing out the error, and, of course, recommending a solution for them. We also assured them they did not need to resend the current poster, as we already had it. We have not heard back from them at this point.
If the posters we received were incorrect, you can be certain that others are receiving the wrong information as well. As an employer I would hope this is not evidence of how any injury claims might be managed. I think I will speak with my agent about placing us with a company that tries to stay a bit more current with the law when our renewal rolls around this year. I’d actually prefer to do business with a company that already does business with us, so we will see where we can go with that.
In the meantime, check your forms inventory. Changes in that area are constant, I assure you. In most cases you can probably get away with sending outdated documents; just don’t send them to a smarty pants whose people know better.