What is workers’ compensation?

From your property to your pets, there are many reasons to buy insurance. For a business owner, workers’ compensation insurance provides protection against the serious consequences of workplace injuries. Watch the video below from our Workers’ Comp Expert Minute Series to get a better understanding of workers’ comp.

As the video explains, workers’ compensation is an insurance policy that a business owner buys to pay for medical care and lost wages for an employee hurt on the job. It provides peace of mind because without workers’ comp coverage, employers have few financial protections if an injury occurs in their business. With a workers’ compensation provider like Texas Mutual Insurance Company, we are committed to helping you keep your employees safe and we work hard to get your employees back to a productive life after an injury.

Workers’ compensation also provides important protection for employees. In the insurance world, the services and payments a claimant (in this case, the injured worker) receives are known as benefits, and in workers’ comp, there are a few different types of benefits. Benefits are based on the wages the injured worker was not able to earn as a result of the injury he or she experienced and the severity of the injury. Below is a brief overview of the types of benefits an injured worker could receive.

  • Income benefits, also known as indemnity or lost wages benefits, replace a portion of the wages that are lost because of the work-related injury. For more information on the types of income benefits, click here.
  • Medical benefits cover the costs of medical care and treatment for a worker’s compensable injury or illness.
  • Death benefits are provided to an injured worker’s surviving family in the event of a fatality.

Workers’ compensation insurance protects businesses from the serious consequences that can result from workplace injuries. Texas Mutual also goes the extra mile and not only protects your business financially but also works hard to help you keep your workforce safe. We are your partner in preventing the injuries from happening in the first place. With more than 2,000 resources in our safety resource center including 200 e-Learning courses, we give you the resources you need to keep your employees safe on the job.

If you are interested in purchasing workers’ compensation coverage, speak to your agent. You can retrieve a list of agents in your area by visiting the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas website.

Regulatory Roundup, July 14

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news.

Texas Mutual Insurance Company News

Safety and wellness grants available now

This week, Texas Mutual began accepting applications for the 2017 safety and wellness grant program. There are two types of grants available to Texas Mutual policyholders: safety grant recipients will receive reimbursement of up to $1,500 toward the purchase of safety equipment and wellness grant recipients will receive a one-year workplace wellness program…MORE                

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA releases new fact sheet for residential construction

OSHA released a new fact sheet aimed at protecting residential construction workers who work in confined spaces such as attics, basements and crawl spaces. The fact sheet explains that employers need to ensure that a competent person identifies the types of confined spaces before each project and includes information about employer obligations regarding personal protective equipment, training, and rescue plans…MORE

Texas Department of Insurance (TDI)

Regional safety summit comes to Austin

The Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation is hosting a series of regional safety summits that provide information on preventable injuries in the workplace as well as upcoming regulations. The summit will be offered in Austin on July 18 and includes presentations on forklift training programs, occupational driving safety programs, OSHA recordkeeping and avoiding maintenance hazards …MORE

TDI provides tire blowout tips

Tire blowouts can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and be involved in serious accidents. To help drivers understand how to handle a blowout, TDI released a quick training resource containing five tips…MORE

Studies, resources, trends, news

The CSB continues the fight to avoid elimination

The Chemical Safety Board is continuing its fight to avoid elimination from a loss of funding. On July 11, the House Appropriations Committee allocated $11 million for the agency for fiscal year 2018, matching its funding for fiscal year 2017. The bill was approved by the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittees, but still needs approval from the full House and Senate Appropriations Committees as well as both chambers of Congress…MORE

Safe driving kits from the NSC

According to the National Safety Council, someone is injured in a car crash every 15 minutes. In response, the NSC is offering a free, downloadable online safe driving kit to help employers protect their workers. It contains numerous resources for teaching employees about driving safely, including videos, fact sheets and activities…MORE

Tips for preventing common oil and gas injuries

Oilman magazine recently released an article that covers injury prevention for the oil and gas industry. The article details common injuries – struck-by, driving and welding flash burns – and provides recommendations for protecting against them…MORE

CVSA releases brake safety data

Earlier this week, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced results from its May 3 unannounced brake safety enforcement event. Results showed that 79 percent of vehicles did not have any critical item vehicle violations, but 12 percent of inspections resulted in a vehicle being pulled out of service for brake-related violations. The alliance is holding another brake safety enforcement event on September 7, 2017…MORE

Apply for a Texas Mutual safety or wellness grant

Safety and wellness programs are proving their value in the workplace, and as a business owner, your employees are looking to you. At Texas Mutual, we want to make it easier for you to invest in safety and wellness, and our new safety and wellness grants do just that. This opportunity is exclusively for our Texas Mutual policyholders, and we encourage you to apply by July 21 for the best chance at receiving a grant. These programs are designed to help make your business a healthier, safer place to work. See the details below on how you can get funding to buy safety equipment or start a wellness program in your workplace.

Start a wellness program with a wellness grantdumbbell and apple with measuring tape

Healthier employees save you money on workers’ comp claims, health care costs, missed work days and so much more. Wellness grant recipients will get a one-year workplace wellness program, which includes health screenings for employees, ongoing support, wellness challenge ideas, helpful webinars and more. A program like this could transform the health of your employees. Click here for more information on the wellness grants.

Get new safety equipment with a safety grantProtective clothes

Safety grant recipients will receive reimbursement of up to $1,500 for the purchase of ergonomic, safety or industrial hygiene equipment to reduce and prevent workplace injuries. If you are awarded a safety grant, you’ll have 60 days to purchase the equipment and submit a form for reimbursement. Click here for more information on the safety grants.

How to apply

You could be one of the hundreds of policyholders awarded through our Safety and Wellness Grant Program. If you are ready to apply, log in to texasmutual.com and click the Safety menu option. Then, click the orange Safety and Wellness Grants button. See the steps below for more information.

Applying for Safety and Wellness Grants

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Safety Services Support Center at 844-WORKSAFE (967-5723). We look forward to seeing the health and safety improvements this program will bring to Texas businesses.

Your Claims Questions Answered – What can the Texas Star Network do for my business?

Texas Mutual offers a workers’ compensation heath care option called the Texas Star Network. Comprised of medical professionals with the return-to-work goal in mind, our network is one of the many ways we save you money.

Watch our next video in the Your Claims Questions Answered series on what the Texas Star Network can do for your business and take a look at the key benefits below.

Benefits of the Texas Star Network:

  • Policyholders receive a discount of up to 12 percent off their premium
  • Patients treated by an in-network doctor return to work eight days sooner on average
  • Injured workers receive top quality medical care with lower than average costs
  • It’s easy to find in-network providers through the network app or online directory
  • You can reduce your premium by lowering claim costs

We encourage you to consult your agent to determine if the network is the right choice for your business, but keep in mind you do not have to wait until your policy renews to enroll. The network comes with responsibilities for you and your employees.

Visit texasmutual.com for information on how to enroll in the network, and to find other network tools.

Your Claims Questions Answered is a six-part video series covering the most commonly asked claims questions. We’ve featured each episode on the blog with our key takeaways. You can watch the full series here or visit our recent posts about return-to-work programs, e-mods, the claims process, and reporting an injury.

Regulatory Roundup, July 7

Regulatory Roundup is a weekly compilation of employee wellness and safety news.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA issues temporary enforcement policy for monorail hoists in construction
OSHA has found that current safety standards do not fully address monorail hoists. As a result, OSHA announced that it will determine safety standards for monorail hoists in construction operations. Until then, OSHA will not cite employers as long as certain standards are followed…MORE.

National Safety Council (NSC)

Music video reminds drivers to reduce distractions behind the wheel
The NSC released a music video, Everybody Just Drive Tonight, Everybody Get Home Tonight, in its recent campaign for safe driving. The song is set to the catchy beat of “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” by Wang Chung and shows drivers multitasking behind the wheel…MORE.

 

NSC grades each state on safety
The NSC released a State of Safety report to bring awareness to the number of preventable deaths in the United States. Each state is graded based on safety policies and legislation in place to help reduce preventable deaths. See how each state ranked…MORE.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Opioid prescriptions falling, but remain high
The CDC reported an overall decline in the amount of opioids prescribed in the United States, but the amount of opioids being prescribed remains very high. A new fact sheet illustrates opioid prescription rates across the country, offers solutions for safer opioid prescription, and provides alternative options for pain management…MORE.

Studies, resources, trends, news

Survey finds workers not trained in first aid and CPR

A recent survey from the American Heart Association found that more than half of workers are not trained in CPR or first aid, and about half did not know where to find the company’s AED. Additionally, more than 90 percent of workers would take training if it was offered by their employer…MORE.

Texas Mutual’s Day of Giving for the Cub Scouts

Texas heat can be overwhelming but with school out for the summer, plenty of children will be playing outdoors. Heat safety precautions are important, which is why Texas Mutual employees put together 4,500 summer safety kits last week for Cub Scouts in Texas. Each one contains bottled water, sunscreen and lip balm to ensure that the scouts can have a safe and fun time at summer camp. Each of our offices, in Lubbock, Austin, Houston and Dallas contributed, so the kits will reach Scouts all over the state.

“Safety is really important to us,” said Joel Rice, director of development for the Capitol Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. “We follow some pretty strict safety guidelines that are approved by our national organization because we care about keeping kids healthy.

“It seems like the most basic summer safety rules are the ones that young kids struggle with the most: use sunscreen, stay hydrated, don’t over-exert yourself. These kits will help them stay cool, safe and hydrated and still have fun in the sun.”

Putting together these safety kits was part of Texas Mutual’s first ever Day of Giving, in which all of our employees had the opportunity to work on a single community service project on the same day. Employees donated a part of their workday to assemble the summer safety kits. They will reach scouts at the Capitol Area Council in Central Texas, the South Plains Council in the Lubbock area, Dallas’ Circle Ten Council, and the Sam Houston Area Council in Houston.

Texas Mutual employees visiting the Capitol Area Council to deliver completed safety kits. Joel Rice is on the far right and Jon Yates, scout executive of the Capitol Area Council, is on the left in uniform.

The Cub Scouts will be swimming, hiking, playing sports, making arts and crafts, and learning skills like orienteering and leather work during day camps and longer stays. Most are aged between seven and 14. Consider these heat safety tips for kids and teens from the National Weather Service, and for your workplace, take a look at our recent post on keeping your employees safe in the Texas heat.

Take a look at our recent system enhancements

At Texas Mutual, we are committed to our policyholder owners that trust us to take care of their employees and their businesses when the unexpected happens. With constantly evolving technology all around us, that commitment extends into the online services we provide as well.Marketing - flat design website banner

We recently upgraded our systems to provide better service, streamline our billing process, and improve our technology so that we can add future enhancements. We’ve been talking about these enhancements the last few weeks and while the changes are mostly behind the scenes, there are some you’ll notice when you login to texasmutual.com. Login now to see the enhancements yourself, or take a look at our quick recap of the changes below.

  • You’ll see an updated gateway with better navigation to the features you use most often.
  • You’ll also find a new billing and payments page with the ability to schedule payments and see payment history, account history, and invoices (for those currently on installment billing, and all other policyholders upon renewal in the new system).

Once your policy renews in the new system, you will also see:

  • A new Payroll Reporting Online system (for those enrolled in online payroll reporting).
  • You may notice that you receive fewer invoices, as our new system consolidates transactions into regularly scheduled invoices.
  • Billing from a policy-level approach to an account-level approach. Payments will be applied to the oldest charge first to reduce the risk of cancellation.
  • If a payment isn’t received by the invoice due date, a late fee of $10 will be assessed.
  • An insufficient funds fee of $30 will be assessed if payments are reversed due to insufficient funds.

On our end, these changes were planned and tested over the last few years, but will have very little effect on how you do business with Texas Mutual. We are happy to bring these changes to make our systems more efficient and user-friendly, allowing us to offer even better service, now and in the future. You can read more detailed information about these changes here.

Agents will also see some system enhancements, which you can read about and watch videos about here.

We are here if you have any questions about these system enhancements at (800) 859-5995.

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