Business Growth, Laws & Regulations

Getting an Accurate View of Your Client’s Payroll from Day One

You’ve finalized the deal and are preparing to onboard your new client. Payroll books and past payroll audits are on their way to your inbox. But will they be enough to provide you with a deep understanding of your client’s employment landscape? 

Let’s walk through some steps you can take to gain an accurate view of your new client’s payroll, prevent fraud, and provide them with the best workers compensation solution possible.

Solve Technical Problems with Soft Skills

You may already have a feel for your new client’s willingness to be open with you. If a client is hesitant to share information, demonstrate your skills. Show them examples of other companies you’ve helped by reviewing past payroll audits and offering improvements. 

Educate your client on how workers compensation is priced. There is monetary value in classifying employees correctly and providing accurate payroll data so you can find the coverage they need. 

Finally, establish that you’re an adviser. You want to make sure they have the right coverage so the business and employees are protected — and that’s the bottom line.

Make Sure Classifications Are Correct

First and foremost, employees need the correct classification codes. Incorrect classification is a costly mistake.

Sit down with your client’s accounting team and ask to review payroll with them. Look for patterns in employee classifications. If all workers are classified under one code each, your client has likely left out critical information. Many employees, even skilled tradesmen, perform multiple tasks on the job.

Your client may also employ independent contractors. If these individuals are listed as employees, the company is paying an unnecessarily high workers comp premium. From the reverse perspective, when an employee is misclassified as an independent contractor, it opens your client up to legal risk and may cost them quite a bit more in the long run.

You can make changes and save money on premiums for your client. If they have incorrect classifications, they’re likely paying way too much, or maybe too little, for their policy. Either way, incorrect classifications open them up to risk when it’s time to file a claim.

Work with a Third Party to Sort out Complex Classifications

Occasionally, you might encounter a situation that’s a little too complex to sort out on your own. 

The National Council on Compensation Insurance will conduct onsite and over the phone inspections and reviews of your client’s classification system. As experts in compensation insurance, they ask the right questions and provide a report that recommends improvements your client can implement.  

Technology That Prevents Fraud Through Accountability and Incentives

Accountability is more difficult when doing business virtually in the age of COVID. Foresight provides virtual visibility into your client’s safety programs through our proprietary risk management technology, Safesite. We equip your client with the tools and resources to manage policies efficiently.

By simplifying the process and offering lower premiums to safer companies — even those operating with high-hazard class codes — you lower the chance a client will commit fraud.

Have Uncomfortable Conversations Early. Then Celebrate Lower Costs Over Time.

As a broker, you regularly roll up your sleeves to understand your client’s payroll and prevent fraud. There may be uncomfortable conversations, but these are opportunities for you to be your clients’ partner. 

Most clients will appreciate you for helping them reassess their payroll classification and being a conduit to better business practices and savings. If you spot any areas of potential fraud or malpractice, they’ll ultimately benefit from your foresight.

Author: Christine Garza

Christine Garza has over fourteen years of experience underwriting and marketing various commercial insurance products with both insurtech and legacy carriers. As Foresight’s VP of Business Development for the Southwest region, she helps strengthen broker value propositions. Christine believes there is an insurtech gap within the middle market workers compensation segment that Foresight can fill through the strategic utilization of data and new technology.

When Christine’s not writing about insurance innovation, she’s fundraising for March of Dimes and spending quality time with her wife and twin daughters.