Today, I spent an hour or so helping a small business properly complete the self-audit forms their insurer had asked them to complete for Workers Comp and General Liability insurance. It wasn't particularly difficult but there were technical issues that were straightforward for someone trained in premium auditing but that were not so straightforward for a small business owner who didn't work in insurance.
We got the whole thing hashed out in a little over an hour and he was very grateful. But it put me in mind of something I heard a week or so ago, when I gave a presentation at the Midwest Insurance Auditors association. Some of the auditors present mentioned that their insurers are increasingly turning to remote audits or self-audits for smaller accounts.
The drawbacks of those developments are illustrated by my small business client I helped today--there are technical issues about what remuneration should properly be reported for WC, how that payroll properly gets allocated among classifications, and different technical aspects for the GL audit.
Insurance companies asking policyholders to self-audit reminds me of the increasing use of self-checkout lanes at Wal-Mart and other retailers. It's an aggravating action by large corporations to hold down their costs by asking the customer to do some of the work normally done by employees of said corporation.
Mind you, it's creating a new line of revenue for us, so perhaps I shouldn't complain about it. But it rubs me the wrong way. And when some aspect of the insurance industry rubs me the wrong way, I tend to write about it here.
So if your company gets one of these self-audit forms, or if the insurers says they want to do a remote audit (which can create similar but slightly different problems) keep in mind that Advanced Insurance Management can help, at very modest cost, to make sure you aren't inadvertently overcharged when you use the insurance industry's self-checkout lanes.
As I often like to say, in a perfect world I shouldn't be able to make a living doing what I do. Audits should always be done correctly and premiums should always be calculated correctly, by trained insurance professionals paid by the insurance industry.
Alas, we don't live in a perfect world. But at least we here at AIM can help make sure businesses aren't overcharged because of those imperfections.