If you are a manufacturing employer in Washington considering joining a Retrospective Rating 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 Labor & Industries started the retro program. We’ve been helping members with workplace safety programs and workers’ compensation advice in the manufacturing industry ever since.
What is your average retro refund?
Over the last 33 years we have averaged retro refunds of 24%, returning over $139 million to members of our retro program.
Has the Vigilant Manufacturing 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; however, if we ever faced an assessment, we would access the funds from our penalty reserve trust, now worth close to $5M. Providing financial protection for our members has been top of mind for over 30 years. We have remained conservative in our plan choices to avoid undue risk, and in the past we have consulted with insurance specialists to purchase reinsurance and get the expertise needed to choose a plan design that maximizes refunds at tolerable levels of risk.
How many claims managers does Vigilant have, and how many years of experience do they have?
We currently have a team of 5 claims managers, with over 70 years of 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 Manufacturing Retro Program, you’ll get your own dedicated claims manager who will handle all your time loss and medical aid claims. We’ll work with L&I, medical providers, workers’ comp attorneys and your team, with a goal to help you navigate the complex workers’ compensation laws in Washington and resolve claims as soon as appropriate.
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?
We take the financial health of the retro program very seriously, particularly since the performance of one member affects the outcomes for all. Members who are identified as having high losses are given all possible safety, legal and claims tools to ensure success. However, there have been times that we have removed companies for high losses that can be related to lack of management commitment, poor implementation of safety policies, and/or failure to provide consistent return to work.
Does Vigilant require a kept on salary (KOS) program?
We do not employ a blanket KOS requirement. Instead, we advise our members to utilize KOS when it makes financial sense. We have the expertise to help companies evaluate the financial return on investment alongside the practical implementation and potential cultural impacts of a KOS program.
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 are dedicated to improving workplace safety, thus keeping your employees safe and helping you lower your workers’ comp premiums. 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 27 years, is our resident PPD expert. She reviews every PPD that comes in to ensure that the rating and payment amount is correct. Sandi has saved our members millions of dollars in PPD over-payments. 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 program 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. At Vigilant, 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 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 workers’ comp claim.
With Vigilant you’ll have access to a team of safety, claims and employment attorneys who are passionate about preventing injuries, reducing claim losses and assisting with overlapping legal issues. We’ll get to know you and your manufacturing business so that we can work in partnership to create a safe environment, and you can focus on what matters - running your business.
Want to learn more about your company’s eligibility for Vigilant’s Retro Program?