How Should I Prepare for a Loss Control Consultation Visit?
You just received a call from someone at your insurance company asking if they could make an appointment for a Loss Control survey. You might be asking: What is a Loss Control survey, and what am I supposed to do?
The primary purpose of the Loss Control visit is to confirm that your insurance company’s Underwriters have correctly classified your business for the purpose of assessing its risk. The visit is also an opportunity to tell your story about your company, its history, your employees, and your products. These visits can help determine the best methods for avoiding/controlling the costs of accidents/injuries, minimizing the cost of insurance, and minimizing the lost productivity that accidents/incidents cause.
At Western National, Loss Control visits are normally conducted by a member of our Loss Control Team, but on occasion the work may be completed by a Loss Control vendor hired by Western National to augment our staff. The types of information that will be collected by the Loss Control Consultant vary depending on your company’s insurance coverage with Western National. For example, if you are insured for Workers’ Compensation, you will be asked about the number of employees you have; your hiring, selection, and training practices; and what your employees do. If you have Commercial Auto coverage, you may be asked questions about driver selection, training, vehicle maintenance, and inspections. If you have Property coverage, we will conduct an inspection of the facility and fire protection systems.
To best prepare for this visit, you should collect any written policies and procedures that are part of your company’s internal risk control efforts. These items might include hiring and disciplinary policies, job descriptions, drug testing policies, safety programs, training schedules or records, OSHA 300 forms, Return to Work Programs, fleet safety and maintenance programs, quality control practices, and fire protection inspections.
Another important step is to make sure the right people are available to answer questions. The Loss Control Consultant can get more details from someone who is closely related to the issue. For example, your Human Resources Manager can provide information on selection, hiring, and training practices. Your Quality Control Director can handle the Products Liability part of the survey. Your Maintenance Manager might handle the property questions/tour. Your Traffic Manager can handle the questions on the fleet. Make sure that the additional contacts understand the value of the Loss Control visit and the importance of the information being provided.
Remember to provide enough time in your schedule for the full survey. Ask the Loss Control Consultant how much time could be needed to adequately cover all the questions that may need to be asked. Having the right people and information available will greatly decrease the amount of time needed. If there are any questions that you can’t answer during the visit, be sure to find the answers after the visit and relay the information as quickly as possible. This will help speed up the overall process.
Loss Control visits are not just for the benefit of your insurance company. It is important for businesses to know how they can access all of the Loss Control services their insurance company provides. A Loss Control visit can be a great opportunity for you and your staff to ask questions, to ask for help in areas where you might need it, and to get ideas on how you can improve the programs you have. To take advantage of this, have your questions prepared ahead of time.
Lastly, the Loss Control Consultant will want to recap what was observed during the visit and discuss any recommendations they have that can help your company reduce losses.
Insurance is a partnership between the policyholder and the insurance company. Controlling losses is the most effective way to contain insurance costs, and a Loss Control visit is all about helping you control losses — and, ideally, saving you time and money along the way.