Restaurants Enjoy Texas Mutual Dividends

Texas Mutual presented safety group dividend checks to members of the Texas Restaurant Association Safety Group.   Learn more about the dividend program and other advantages of Texas Mutual coverage in the below video.

 

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Texas Mutual Awards $300K in Safety Education Grants

Texas Mutual Insurance Company has awarded a combined $300,000 in grants to Kilgore College, Midland College and College of the Mainland in Texas City. The grants will continue to fund free workplace safety courses for employers, employees and the general public through the colleges’ risk management institutes.

Since 1999 Texas Mutual—the state’s leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance—has awarded a combined $2.8 million in safety education grants, and 20,000 students have attended free safety courses at the three colleges over the past 13 years.

“We are grateful for the support that Texas Mutual continues to show Kilgore College and the emphasis the company places on safety education in the workplace,” said William Holda, Ph.D., president of Kilgore College. “Since the beginning of our partnership with Texas Mutual, the KC Risk Management Institute has been a valuable resource for area employees and employers. It has not only proved to be an important educational tool for participants, but has also helped to make them more competitive in today’s job market.”

Courses at the safety institutes include general topics, such as ergonomic safety and OSHA standards, but students may also choose to attend courses tailored to the dominant industries in the Houston, Midland and Kilgore areas.

In addition to these safety grants, Texas Mutual hosts free workers’ compensation workshops across the state for local employers. The workshops include a presentation by Texas Mutual safety professionals and an opportunity for continuing education on workplace safety, workers’ compensation and fraud prevention.

“These grants and workshops exemplify Texas Mutual’s ongoing commitment to workplace safety and prevention of workplace accidents through education,” said Bob Barnes, chairman of the Texas Mutual board of directors. “We recognize the value safety education provides to employers—giving them tools to keep their businesses, and more importantly, their employees safe. Safety education is always a sound investment.”

For more information about the workshops and safety courses, visit texasmutual.com.

Midland Business Pleads Guilty to Hiding Payroll from Texas Mutual

Texas Mutual Insurance Company reported today that AB Abatement, Inc. of Midland, Texas, pled to workers’ compensation fraud-related charges. A Travis County district court ordered AB Abatement, Inc. to pay $70,000 in restitution to Texas Mutual and a $1,000 fine.

Vanco Insulation, Inc., owned by Robert Crow of Midland, obtained workers’ compensation coverage through Texas Mutual from April 2003 to October 2006. During that time, related company, AB Abatement, Inc., misrepresented numbers of employees and payroll associated with the Vanco Insulation, Inc. policies to Texas Mutual.

Because workers’ compensation insurance premium is based, in part, on payroll, this type of scheme results in an employer being charged a lower premium than it actually owes. By hiding payroll, an employer can gain an unfair advantage over competitors.

Workplace safety pays for San Antonio restaurants

San Antonio restaurateurs receive a dividend check for workplace safety. Pictured (from left to right): Yolanda Arellano, San Antonio Restaurant Assocation; Joe Guerra, Mi Tierra; Jon Lindskog, Cheesy Jane’s (Big Burgers of Texas); Robin Patterson, Burger King (St. Juste Management Corporation); and Terry Frakes, Texas Mutual

Twenty-nine San Antonio restaurateurs received a share of $310,787 in workers’ compensation dividends from Texas Mutual Insurance Company this week. The dividend was a reward for the Texas Restaurant Association safety group’s workplace safety record.

Terry Frakes of Texas Mutual and Scott Lea of TRA delivered the check. The San Antonio Business Journal was on hand to cover the event.

Return-to-Work Is Not a One-Way Street

You probably work hard to prevent workplace accidents. But what happens when an employee does get injured?

In a perfect world, the employee, employer, doctor and insurance carrier work together as part of a return-to-work team. The team’s goal is to help the employee get well and back on the job.

Return-to-work is an easy sell for employers. It can help reduce your workers’ compensation costs. It also promotes productivity by getting experienced workers back on the team as soon as medically reasonable.

For a return-to-work program to work, however, your employees must do their part. Get their buy-in by explaining what’s in it for them.

The longer employees are off work with injuries, the less likely they are to get back on the job. By the 12th month of disability, their chances of ever returning to work drop 50 percent.

That is bad news for injured workers who live on tight budgets, because workers’ compensation benefits replace only 70 to 75 percent of lost wages.

While the bottom line is the best way to get most people’s attention, it is just as important to remind your injured workers there are also physical benefits to returning to work. Studies show that injured workers who get back on the job actually recover faster. In short, work can be therapeutic.

Return-to-work programs help control the human and monetary costs associated with workplace injuries. The process starts when your insurance carrier finds out about the injury.

Encourage your employees to tell you as soon as possible if they are hurt on the job. Prompt reporting allows your adjuster the opportunity to open a claim when necessary and start working to get the employee well and back to work.

The doctor might determine that the injured worker needs time to heal before resuming normal job duties. He or she might still be able to contribute to productivity, however, by performing modified duty.

Ask your employees to help you brainstorm tasks injured workers can do while they recover. Explain that you are not looking for “busy work.” Modified duty should be meaningful work that contributes to quality or productivity.

In some cases, injured workers may not be able to immediately return to work in any capacity. In the meantime, keep in touch with them, and encourage them to check in with you at least once a week. Stress that their first obligation is to get well. Find out how they’re doing, and ask whether they need help with their recovery.

Employers have access to free tools that can help them launch a return-to-work program or improve an existing program. Texas Mutual offers a downloadable return-to-work kit at texasmutual.com/safety/rtwkits.shtm. Employers and their employees can get more free return-to-work resources through the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/rtw/index.html.

NFIB, Texas Mutual Partnership Pays $267K Dividend

Texas Mutual Insurance Company announced today a $267,364 workers’ compensation dividend to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) wholesale/retail safety group. The dividend was based largely on the safety group’s overall loss ratio.

“Entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy,” said Bob Barnes, chair of Texas Mutual’s board of directors. “As an independent business owner, I am proud of the partnership Texas Mutual has forged with the NFIB. Anytime we have the opportunity to invest in Texas entrepreneurs, we consider it money well spent.”

Members of the NFIB wholesale/retail safety group have shared in $1.6 million in group dividends since 2006.

“We at NFIB are very proud of our members for pulling together with Texas Mutual Insurance Company’s loss prevention team and achieving such a significant group dividend,” said NFIB/Texas Executive Director Will Newton. “We are looking forward to more of the same in 2012.”

Unlike publicly traded insurance companies, mutual companies are owned by their policyholders. Dividends allow Texas Mutual to share its financial success with its policyholder owners.

Safety group dividends are separate from the $155 million in individual policyholder dividends Texas Mutual distributed last year. Since 2000, the company has injected more than $1 billion into the Texas economy through its group and individual dividend programs.

In addition to potential dividends, NFIB safety group members get discounts on their workers’ compensation premiums. They also have access to workplace safety materials designed for their operations.

Texas Mutual notes that past dividends are not a guarantee of future dividends, and the Texas Department of Insurance must approve all dividends.

Houston Man Pleads Guilty to Hiding Payroll from Texas Mutual

Texas Mutual Insurance Company reported today that Marvin Solano of Houston pled guilty to workers’ compensation fraud-related charges. A Travis County district court ordered Solano to pay $140,038 to Texas Mutual, pay a fine of $1,000, serve 10 years of deferred adjudication and perform 300 hours of community service.

Solano owned Elamar, Ltd., doing business as Mastercare Gardens. He obtained workers’ compensation coverage through Texas Mutual from February 2006 to May 2008. During that time, he concealed payroll through various family operated companies he controlled.

Because workers’ compensation premium is based, in part, on payroll, this type of scheme results in an employer being charged a lower premium than it actually owes. By hiding payroll, an employer can gain an unfair advantage over competitors.

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