Workers’ Compensation Consultant Jon Coppelman shares his expertise and reveals how independent insurance agents can seize opportunity in this line.
When Renaissance member agencies have questions about workers’ compensation, you are their trusted go-to resource. What makes your role as our workers’ compensation consultant unique?
What makes me different is that I work directly with policyholders, alongside the local agent, on the many issues relating to workers’ comp: experience mods, open claims, class codes, audits, subrogation, etc. I serve as a consultant to both the agent and the insured. It’s a level of service that, quite frankly, is rare these days. My goal is to make workers’ comp interesting and even entertaining for agents, insureds and Renaissance staffers. Though it might sound strange, it’s a fun job.
How can agents use your services to attract prospective workers’ compensation accounts? Can you share an example of how this works?
Let’s be clear: it’s not easy to motivate a prospect to change agents. But if the current agent has not been doing their homework, if they have not been able to answer basic questions about comp, or if they have no idea where the experience mod is going, the door is open to the Renaissance alternative. Our analysis provides a clear picture of where the prospect is, and our menu of services illuminates the path toward improvement.
I recently had an opportunity to join a Connecticut agent on a prospect call where the insured had a lot of concerns about the mod calculation. After a stimulating chat we walked away with the workers’ comp account – along with the other commercial lines.
What are the key steps agents should take to retain current workers’ compensation accounts, and how can you help them do this?
Once a policy renews, agents may think that they are all set until the next renewal. This is often not the case.
If you want to impact the next experience mod, you need to begin working early in the new policy year. That’s where I can help: When agents send me the current experience mod calculation sheet and an up-to-date loss run, I can develop a strategy in the first half of the policy year to minimize future costs. The key to retention is making sure that there are no surprises and no lost opportunities to serve policyholders.
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How would you characterize the current workers’ compensation market, and what are the implications for Renaissance member agents?
Workers’ compensation rates have been in a downward spiral for almost a decade. Many states have seen rate reductions of 50% or more. As a result, policyholders with minimal losses have benefited from substantially reduced premiums. In fact, premiums for loss-free accounts have at times become so low, underwriters are shying away from them. But for insureds with significant losses, lower class rates mean lower expected losses; as a result, they end up with higher mods.
Regardless of changes in the market, workers’ compensation from the employer perspective is full of confusion, doubt and frustration – and therein lie opportunities for agents in Renaissance Alliance.
Renaissance member agents can contact Jon via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 508-769-9850.