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Workers’ Comp WA

Vigilant Retro FAQ

If you are a Washington Employer considering joining a Retro Program we’d love to talk with you about your needs and challenges. Here are some frequently asked questions about our retro program.

How long has Vigilant sponsored a retro program?

Our group was formed in 1984, one year after L&I started the retro program. We’ve been helping members with workplace safety programs and workers’ comp advice ever since.

What is your average retro refund?

Over the last 32 years we have averaged retro refunds of 24% or more, returning over $132 million to members.

Has the Vigilant retro program ever been charged a penalty assessment premium by L&I?

No, in over 30 years we have not been charged a penalty premium. We’ve always maintained a penalty reserve trust, now worth close to $5M, for use in the event of an assessment. Most recently we added reinsurance to our retro program adding even greater risk protection. This allows us to take higher risk for higher refunds, but not at the expense and risk of our retro participants.

How many claims managers does Vigilant have, and how many years of experience do they have?

We currently have 5 claims staff, with over 50 years combined experience managing workers’ comp claims.

Will we be assigned a dedicated claims manager, or have multiple people to work with?

It’s important that the claims manager you’re working with understands your business practices and company culture. As a participant in the Vigilant retro program, you’ll get your own dedicated claims manager who will handle all of your time loss and medical aid claims, and provide claims advocacy. We’ll also help you navigate the complex workers’ compensation laws in Washington.

What is the underwriting process for your group? How do you handle members with high losses? Have you ever removed members for having high losses?

Members who are identified as having high losses over multiple years are added to a probation list. The goal of the list is to ensure that we are dedicating every possible resource in order to help reduce workers’ comp losses. The majority of our members placed on the probation list eventually improve performance and are removed from the list. Unfortunately, some companies are removed due to lack of commitment resulting in poor performance.

Does Vigilant require a kept on salary (KOS) program?

We do not require that our members have a KOS program. In the past many of our members have found that the administrative burden, along with cultural implications involved with a KOS program have outweighed the benefits. We stress to members that a good early return-to-work program is key to eliminating time loss days. Some groups require a kept on salary program, but it is simply a tool for getting higher retro returns to competitively market the program, put on the backs of the participating companies.

What safety services can we expect if we enroll in your group? What is the ratio of Safety staff to members?

We have 5 safety professionals who service approximately 50 members each, who are dedicated to workplace safety. Our safety staff can work with you to perform safety inspections, conduct program audits, provide WISHA regulatory guidance, assist with citations and provide support and resources to organization safety leaders.

Do you evaluate permanent partial disability (PPD) payments or any other workers’ comp claim costs?

Sandi Beasley, who has been with Vigilant for over 25 years, is our resident PPD expert. She reviews every PPD that comes in to ensure that the rating and payment amount is correct. Since 2007, Sandi has saved our members over $600k in PPD over-payments and incorrect ratings. Our claims managers also review all loss of earning power and time loss payments to ensure workers’ comp benefits are paid correctly.

Why should we choose Vigilant?

Determining which retro plan to select is a complex decision. If it was only about refunds, it would be a simple choice. But the fact is, refunds are difficult to predict. It’s important to remember that retro returns are only part of the equation. We want to help you put systems in place to reduce your experience factor so that you’re paying less up front, in your L&I workers’ comp premiums.

In addition to the workers’ comp claims advocacy and workplace safety services, as a Vigilant member you’ll get help managing all of the intersecting issues employers face, such as the overlapping legal issues related to retaliation, discipline, leave management, terminations, etc., that are inherent risks in each claim.

With Vigilant you’ll have access to a team of safety, claims and HR professionals who are passionate about preventing injuries, reducing claim losses and assisting with overlapping legal issues. We’ll get to know you, and your business, so that we can work in partnership to create a safe environment so that you can focus on what matters- running your business.

Want to learn more about your company’s eligibility for Vigilant’s Retro Program?

Contact Us