Report: Offering Voluntary Benefits May Reduce Workers Compensation Claims

Simply offering disability insurance or accident insurance or both can cause workers compensation claims to decline by as much as 50 percent.

That's the conclusion of a recent study of over six hundred employers across a cross section of sizes and industries. The study also found that more than four employees in ten reported material improvements in workers compensation claims.

The survey was conducted in November 2013 by Lieberman Research World Wide and commissioned by AFLAC, which is a prominent carrier of workplace insurance and benefits plans.

For the most part, the magnitude of declines in workers compensation claims experienced by companies who rolled out voluntary disability and/or accident insurance was significant:

  • Of employers who offered accident insurance, 14 percent of all employers reported declines of 50 percent or more. Another 17 percent of employers reported workers comp claims declines of 25 to 49 percent.
  • Of employees who offered access to voluntary disability insurance, 15 percent of all employers reported declines of 50 percent or more, while an additional 15 percent reported declines of 25 to 49 percent. In both cases the results were fairly consistent regardless of the size of the employer

About Voluntary Benefits

Voluntary benefits are benefits the employer offers to strengthen the employers' value position, at little or no cost to the employer. Most or all premiums, fees and other costs are borne by employees themselves, via payroll deduction. The employer simply deducts premiums and other costs from employee salaries and forwards them to the insurer or benefits provider.

Common voluntary benefits programs include:

  • Short-term disability
  • Long-term disability
  • Accident insurance or Accidental Death and Dismemberment
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Legal and identity theft plans
  • Financial counseling
  • Dental and Vision Plans

                        …And many more.

A 2013 survey by Towers Watson indicates that voluntary benefits are on the increase, and are projected to increase in importance as part of company's overall benefits strategy will grow by 27 percent over the next five years.

The potential benefits to employers are many. Employers offer voluntary benefits for these reasons:

  • Improve employee satisfaction and loyalty
  • Differentiate themselves from other employers to attract new talent
  • Retain talent
  • Reduce presenteeism and workers compensation claims
  • Save on payroll taxes (with qualifying Section 125 'cafeteria' plans)

Again, employees can offer voluntary benefits at little or no cost to themselves. But when an employee becomes disabled, is diagnosed with cancer or another insured critical illness, or has another crisis that can be mitigated with a benefit provided under a voluntary benefits program, that benefit can mean the world.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.


Phone: 708.597.5900 x435


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