How Texas Mutual will continue to serve those affected by Hurricane Harvey – Updated 9/12/17

The thoughts of all of us at Texas Mutual are with our fellow Texans in Houston and the Gulf Coast region affected by Hurricane Harvey, including the employees in our Houston Regional Office. Everyone’s focus should be on the security and safety of themselves, their loved ones and their property at this time.

Disaster relief.jpgBecause of the storm, some of our Houston area employees are not available for calls or emails. However, our employees in Austin, Dallas and Lubbock are available to meet your needs. Please call (800) 859-5995 with any questions, and our information services team will provide you with necessary assistance.

Texas Mutual stands ready to help, and has the following resources available for our policyholders, injured workers and insurance agency partners. This information will be updated as further details are available.

The Texas Department of Insurance has developed a helpful resources page for anyone affected by Hurricane Harvey, including tips for claim filing, ways to avoid fraudulent contractors and more.

Employers

Texas Mutual will provide a grace period for premium payments and suspend any policy cancellations for those in areas affected by the storm, in accordance with guidance from the Texas Department of Insurance. Our premium audit team will make accommodations to ensure that our business processes do not affect your recovery operations.

On Friday, September 8, we notified policyholders who have been selected to receive safety grants that the deadline has been extended to submit receipts for reimbursement by 60 days. These policyholders can contact the safety services team at 844-WORKSAFE (967-5723) with any questions.

Texas Mutual is pledging $10 million to the Hurricane Harvey recovery effort for policyholders. Current policyholders who have sustained significant damage can apply for up to $10,000 in grant funds. Grant applications open September 13 at noon. Visit texasmutual.com/txmfortexas for information on how to apply and for other resources for your business.

Injured workers

The primary focus for injured workers should be getting appropriate care. Workers in the affected area participating in our Texas Star Network can seek treatment with any medical provider, regardless of network status, in order to ensure that their needs are met. We will try to contact workers receiving paper benefit checks to see if an alternate delivery method is necessary due to flooding.  Your adjuster is here to help, but feel free to call our main number if you are not able to reach us.

If an injured worker in one of the affected areas misses a designated doctor or requirement medical exam because either the worker or provider was unavailable, benefits will not be suspended. Further, claim reporting and filing deadlines for claims in the affected areas are suspended for the duration of the Governor’s disaster declaration.

Agents

We value our partnership with our agents, and will do everything we can to help you continue to serve our mutual clients. Underwriting operations will continue out of our Dallas and Austin regional offices for as long as necessary to ensure that it is safe for our Houston employees to return to the office.

Remember that you can check the ‘Documents’ page on Texas Mutual Online to review any policy or agency documents you may need while mail service is unavailable. Call our main number if you need assistance with your online account.

Supporting recovery efforts

For those of you in other parts of the state who wish to help, the following resources are available:

Texas Mutual ADRN

Texas Mutual employees volunteered with the Austin Disaster Relief Network over the weekend. Our employees are ready to continue relief

  • United Way of Greater Houston is on the ground and providing support to those affected. You can give to the disaster relief fund here. United Way of Greater Houston also has a helpful resource guide available for those affected by the storm.
  • Texas Mutual is partnering with the Austin Disaster Relief Network (ADRN) to get much needed supplies for hurricane survivors. Central Texans are encouraged to bring donation items to ADRN’s Hope Family Thrift Store receiving dock at 1122 E. 51st Street, Austin, Texas, 78723. Donations are accepted at the receiving dock Monday through Saturday (closed Sunday) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit ADRN’s Hurricane Harvey response page for a list of items needed or for more information.

 

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Work Safe, Texas is Open for Business

Have you ever thought you would go to work one day and never return? Probably not. You acknowledge that you face some level of risk on the job, and you accept that risk. But a bump or bruise here and there is about the worst it will get for most of us. The 524 Texans who lost their lives in workplace accidents last year were not as fortunate. That’s nearly 200 more on-the-job fatalities than California, the nation’s second-deadliest state to work in last year.

“No one should have to sacrifice their life for their livelihood, because a nation built on the dignity of work must provide safe working conditions for its people.” – Secretary of Labor
Thomas E. Perez

Granted, Texas’ fatality rate actually dropped from 2.6 to 2.4 cases per 100 workers between 2013 and 2014. That’s well below the national rate of 3.2.

Still, one life lost is too many, as Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez so succinctly put it.

“No one should have to sacrifice their life for their livelihood, because a nation built on the dignity of work must provide safe working conditions for its people.”

Texas Mutual agrees with Secretary Perez. Partnering with you to get your employees safely home to their families every day is the most important service we deliver not just to our policyholders, but to every Texas business. That’s why we launched our Work Safe, Texas website.

The site is a forum for us to share our workplace safety expertise with you and your employees. Each month, we upgrade worksafetexas.com with fresh content. From downloadable posters to online videos to workplace safety articles, you’ll find resources that address the unique hazards your employees face.

Here are just a few highlights of the November offerings waiting for you at worksafetexas.com.

Ronnie’s story
Ronnie's storyImagine you’re a veteran electrician with more than 20 years on the job. One day, you suffer a severe electrical shock while working for a local utility. You remember being loaded onto the life flight helicopter, but nothing else until you wake up from your coma. You spend 45 days in the hospital. From there, you head straight to the rehab facility, where you start the grueling process of learning to use your new prosthetic arms.

This catastrophic injury changed Ronnie’s life, but it was not his last chapter. This month’s featured post from our award-winning Safety @Work blog tells the rest or Ronnie’s story.

Lockout/tagout: Controlling hazardous energy
LOTO videoIf you make your living in manufacturing, construction, oil and gas or another industrial-type industry, your employees use machines. And machines have moving parts that can hurt people.

Texas Mutual has seen a recent rash of catastrophic injuries involving employees getting pulled into machines while clearing jams or performing maintenance. If your employees use machines, you should have a lockout/tagout policy to control hazardous energy. To help you get started, this month’s worksafetexas.com offerings include a short online video on lockout/tagout.

7 tips for working out fatigue
7 tipsWe know your time is valuable – and limited. We make easy for you to get the safety information you need and get back to running your business. Each month, you’ll find a quick list of bite-sized safety tips on a specific topic. In November, we share seven tips for working out fatigue through exercise.

Did you know?
Would it surprise you to learn that hearing loss is the most common workplace injury, but it is 100 percent preventable? Or that replacing an injured worker can cost up to 1.5 times their annual salary?

Our “Did You Know” feature is full of interesting facts that might change the way you think about workplace safety.

Of course, if we only presented the issues, we would only be doing half our jobs. Each tidbit includes a link to solutions for overcoming the roadblocks to a safer workplace.

Workplace safety articles
Each flu season, Americans miss nearly 111 million workdays. That translates to approximately $7 billion per year in sick days and lost productivity. This month’s workplace safety articles include tips for protecting your employees and your business from the flu. You’ll also find information on keeping older workers safe, making management accountable for safety and navigating emergencies, which is a timely topic in light of the severe weather Texas has been experiencing.

A brand you can live with
Texas Mutual has built its corporate brand on safety. But Work Safe, Texas isn’t just a catchy tagline. It’s a vision that drives everything we do. As long as Texans are getting injured on the job, our Work Safe website will be open for business.

 

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