Atlanta, GA — April 11, 2012 — SCI Companies (SCI) announced today that it has strengthened its portfolio of workers’ compensation insurance carriers, adding four new carriers for 2012. SCI proudly presents Tower Insurance Co. of New York, CastlePoint National Insurance Company, Guarantee Insurance Company, and Ullico Casualty Company as its new insurance providers, effectively March 1, 2012.
The announcement will enable SCI to diversify its insurance services offerings and place each client with the appropriate insurance coverage based on their specific business needs. Simultaneously, SCI will continue to seek out additional carriers if necessary to ensure that it has adequate options for its clients in the future, as the market continues to dictate increased premiums.
“Although the broad property and casualty insurance market has remained somewhat stable over the past two years, the workers’ compensation insurance market has not responded as favorably,” said Henry Hardin, CEO of SCI Companies. “Workers’ compensation carriers’ profits have dwindled, and under closer scrutiny, this line of insurance has shown significant deterioration, which directly translates to an increase in the cost of doing business.”
Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) such as SCI Companies deliver outsourced HR solutions to small companies, where the PEO takes responsibility for the client’s HR department and its functions. PEOs help small business owners and entrepreneurs minimize costs and maximize efficiencies via a complete HR outsourcing model called a “co-employment” relationship. In a “co-employment” arrangement, employees are paid directly by the PEO, who delivers a host of HR and co-employment services to employees of the client, such as administering payroll and providing employment benefits.
Under a co-employment model, the PEO takes responsibility for becoming the employer of record. Workers’ compensation insurance, health insurance and other employee benefits are covered under the PEO’s master policy, unless one or more of these risk management products are “carved out” of the contract between the two parties. The advantage of this relationship to the small business owner is potentially lower employment costs, workers’ compensation rates, unemployment rates and insurance benefit rates.
For years, many small businesses have relied on their PEO partner to provide HR outsourcing services and help them drive down the cost of workers’ compensation insurance through the pooling of small businesses together. Now more than ever before, the current economic conditions have small business owners looking for new ways to reduce all of their costs,
particularly workers’ compensation, health and other employee benefits costs.
“SCI constantly monitors the market and all regulations which might impact our business, and our clients,” said Chris Sullivan, Director of Risk Management for SCI. “The workers’ compensation market continues to experience a long list of challenges and is in a state of uncertainty. Numerous factors are forcing stricter underwriting requirements and higher premium costs.”
Factors fueling the uncertainty, both positively and negatively, include:
• Growing Healthcare Medical Costs / Legislation / Reform
• Costs shifting pressures
• Federal vs. State Control ( formation of the Federal Insurance Office)
• Economy / Stock Market / Investment Yields / Unemployment
• Insurers Top-line Revenue (Unemployment is reducing payroll / impacting WC premiums)
• Insurers Investment Income (in decline)
• Claims Frequency and Severity (uncertainty of increases / declines)
• Improved Technology (to gather data)
• Improved data and understanding of cost drivers
• Changing Nature of the Workplace (shift toward service industries)
• Telecommuting and the 24/7 virtual workplace
• Changing Nature of the Workforce Demographics (aging workforce)
• Wellness (focus on employee wellness)
• Safety and loss control, return to work, employee training
• Aggressive pursuit of fraud
• Advancing social objectives, such as Universal coverage
Sullivan continues. “No doubt, various factors are impacting pricing within SCI’s workers’ compensation product offering. Yet, SCI is consistently viewed in high regard within the workers’ compensation marketplace for our financial stability, operational effectiveness, and numerous employee wellness and preventative programs. Our good standing has allowed us to seek out four of the most favorable insurance carriers in the industry, who offered aggressive pricing options for our clients. The programs that SCI management established years ago are now widespread in the industry. When companies are able to show their workers are improving their fitness and overall health, insurers are more likely to see them as less of a financial risk, and thus may pass along some of the anticipated savings.”
“We are proud of the emphasis we have placed on employee health and wellness, return to work, safety and loss control, and employee training programs over the years, and today’s announcement is more proof that these programs get results — for the individual employees and the employer,” said Greta Cairns, Director of Human Capital and Atlanta Operations for SCI.
About SCI Companies
SCI Companies, www.scicompanies.com, has led the industry with innovative Human Resources Outsourcing (HRO) solutions since 1985. Our focus on flexible, customer-based solutions provides a comprehensive menu of Human Resources (HR) services, consulting and outsourcing designed to offer the convenience of a single-source provider for all your HR needs. We have grown with our customers by offering an unbeatable combination of individually customized programs, leading edge technology and a service team dedicated to making you “The Employer of Choice.” Contact us today.
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