Workers Compensation Audits 101: What Are They?
Workers’ compensation insurance is essential for businesses of all sizes as it protects both employees and employers in case of work-related injuries. It is mandatory in most states, and employers must purchase it to protect their employees in case of such incidents.
The premium rates for workers’ compensations can be significant, and employers must ensure they pay the correct premium amount for their policy. This is where worker's compensation audits come in.
If you are a business owner and need clarification about workers compensation audits, read on to learn the basics and how the audits can protect your business and employees.
What Are Workers' Compensation Audits?
Worker's compensation audits are examinations of workers’ compensation insurance policies to ensure that the premium being paid accurately reflects the worker’s actual exposure to risk.
What Is The Purpose Of Workers' Compensation Audits?
The primary purpose of a workers’ compensation audit is to ensure that employers are paying the correct premium amount for their workers’ compensation insurance policies.
The premium is based on several factors, such as the number of employees, their job descriptions, and the amount of payroll associated with each job description. An employer should provide accurate information to their insurance company to ensure they pay the correct premium.
The worker’s compensation audit verifies the information provided by the employer and identifies any differences between the premium being paid and the actual risk exposure of workers.
What Happens During A Workers’ Compensation Audit?
An audit may happen in person, by phone, or online. During the audit, the auditor typically reviews the employer’s records, including payroll, employee job classification documents, and other relevant records. The auditor may also check the employer’s claims history to ensure that the claims reported are accurate and that the employer is paying the correct premium based on the actual exposure to risk.
After completing the workers' compensation audits, the auditor prepares a report that outlines any discrepancies found between the information provided by the employer and the risk exposure.
If the employer is found to have underreported the payroll or misclassified employees, they may be required to pay additional premiums to the insurance company. Equally, if the employer has overpaid their premiums, they may be entitled to a refund or credit.
How To Prepare For Workers' Compensation Audits
Preparing for a workers’ compensation audit is crucial to avoid penalties. Here are some tips on how to prepare for one;
1. Gather All Relevant Records
You will need to gather records such as;
- Number of employees
- Payroll Register
- Up-to-date job descriptions
- Overtime and bonus records
- Tax documents
- Salaries, wages, and commissions
- Insurance certificates for your subcontractors
2. Review Employee Job Descriptions
Ensure that your employees are correctly classified according to their duties, which can affect the premium you pay for worker’s compensation insurance.
3. Be Prepared To Answer Questions
The auditor may ask questions about your business and workers’ compensation policies. Be prepared to answer questions accurately and honestly.
4. Review The Audit Report
Once the audit is complete, review the report carefully to ensure all the information is accurate. Do not sign the audit report if you disagree with the findings. Instead, you can request a review.
Understanding Workers Compensation Audits
Workers’ compensation audits ensure businesses comply with the laws and regulations regarding workers’ compensation insurance. By conducting regular audits, businesses can identify potential discrepancies and correct them before they become costly in the long run.
Additionally, audits can help businesses identify areas where they can cut insurance costs, such as adjusting job descriptions.
Businesses can ensure they meet their legal obligations by understanding workers’ compensation audits, preparing for the audit process, and working closely with workers’ compensation insurance companies.