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R&R Insurance Blog

Why Have Worker's Compensation Insurance?

Posted by Sabrina Kosiboski


Brian Beans  - Workers Comp Infographic-1Your employee Bob cut his finger off at work while trying to race through his job at the end of the day. Is Bob’s best move to call a lawyer and sue your company? Generally speaking, the answer is no. Wisconsin law says his exclusive remedy is the Worker's Compensation insurance system. 

Worker’s Compensation insurance provides wage replacement and medical care to injured employees who were hurt during employment. Nearly all businesses with employees in the United States require companies to carry it. How did this come about, and why should you, as a business owner, be okay with another costly expense for your organization?

From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, we went from an agricultural to an industrial society. Back then, if you had an accident at work, such as losing your finger, you would have to sue your employer in a civil court under tort (negligence) law.

Most employees would not win these cases. A significant issue with filing a tort action was requiring a worker to prove that the injury occurred because the employer was more negligent than the employee. Employers had three solid law defenses:

  1. The worker was more negligent
  2. The worker knew of the dangers involved and “assumed risk”
  3. The injury occurred because of the negligence of a “fellow employee”

Employees were upset because they had injuries and a hard time winning in court. Business owners weren’t thrilled either, getting dragged into court and piling up legal expenses. The only winners in this system seemed to be the lawyers. In the early 1900s, there was a movement to create a more balanced system and what came out of that movement has been called the Grand Compromise.  

In 1911, the state of Wisconsin adopted the first successfully implemented Workmen’s Compensation Law, which soon after spread throughout the country state by state. These laws require an employer to purchase worker’s compensation insurance which compensates an injured worker for injuries that arise from the job, regardless of whose fault the injury might be.


Under the law, workers are entitled to statutory wage loss benefits, the cost of medical treatment, and certain disability payments if applicable. Each state creates its own calculations and formulas for what an employee is entitled to for a specific injury. For example, the state has a formula that says the loss of Bob’s finger will entitle him to $X dollars, and that’s it. The system is far more predictable for employers and employees. 

R&R Insurance’s Executive Claim Consultant Brian Bean has a great way of describing it, “Worker’s Compensation is its own little world.” The “no-fault” system means work comp operates by its own set of rules, principles, and laws very different from other forms of insurance.

Employers that figure this out quickly function better in this little world. Employers that might suspect employees of negligence and push back too hard on filing and paying out Worker’s Compensation tend to have more problems in claims management and could find themselves in an unnecessary lawsuit.

That said, not every injury at work is a Worker’s Compensation claim. There are some requirements:

  1. There must be an “employer” and “employee” relationship subject to the Workers Compensation Act.
  2. An employee is acting in the course and scope of their employment and not deviating (see this presentation for a deep dive on the topic).
  3. An employee sustains an injury arising from that employment.

A good way to control your risk in this area is to set clear policies regarding employee behavior in your employee handbook and enforcing those rules consistently. Review your policies and practices. What is usual and customary for your company? For example, what rules do you have against horseplay, and what restrictions do you have on a company vehicle use?

Incident investigations are another critical but often overlooked aspect of workers' compensation claims. Best practices require that you quickly investigate any incident that might be related to work comp and liability issues. Having a proper list to go through an investigation could significantly help when dealing with workers comp.

Time and time again, it has been shown that the faster you get the facts and lock in the statement after all accidents, the better the decision-making process is at the beginning of a claim and the better the outcome. 

If you owe it, you owe it. If the claim is compensable, it should be handled quickly to avoid unnecessary litigation. If the claim is questionable, you can preserve evidence and build your defense. 

Lastly, educate yourself and those in management positions about Worker's Compensation, know your company's policies, and ensure rules are consistently enforced.  

So, why have Worker's Compensation insurance?

Workers comp insurance balances the competing interests of employers and employees when an employee is injured. The employee gets his medical bills and lost wages paid, and everyone saves on litigation costs. 

You can learn more about workers' compensation in each state you operate in, know your own company's rules and practices, and make sure you investigate incidents quickly. If you do these things, you will get better, less costly outcomes in your workers' compensation claims. 

Topics: Insurance, Workers' Compensation

Agent's Review of Contracts - Disclaimer

Posted by Julie Liebelt

Contract-ReviewAgency Contract Review Disclaimer - R&R Agency Contract Review Disclaimer


At your request, our agency will review the insurance requirements in the contract furnished to us.


Scope of Review. Our agency will review only the insurance requirements contained in the contract. In performing this limited review, our agency is not providing legal advice or a legal opinion concerning any portion of the contract. No lawyer-client relationship is created by our review of this or any other contract. We strongly suggest that this contract be reviewed by your own legal counsel.


The scope of our review will be to determine if the current insurance program which you have placed through our agency addresses the types and amounts of insurance coverage referenced by the contract. We will identify the significant insurance obligations and advise you of any changes required in your current insurance program to meet the requirements of the contract. At your request and upon your authorization, we will make the necessary changes in your insurance program.


Our agency is not undertaking to identify all potential liabilities that may arise under this contract. This review is provided for your information, and should not be relied upon by third parties. Any descriptions of insurance coverage(s) are subject to the terms, conditions, exclusion, and other provisions of the policies and any applicable laws or regulations.


Disclaimer of Liability. In no event shall our agent and its related, affiliated and subsidiary companies be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of the limited contract review.



Topics: Insurance, certificate, Certificates of Insurance, disclaimer

9 Steps to Complete a Home Inventory

Posted by the knowledge brokers

home inventory_video skinWe talked about a great article we came across by Jim Guidry of the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance that talked about a way to protect your personal property by using your iPhone® or iPad®, he also gave some pointers on how to complete a home inventory.

(Hint) A suggestion from our staff is to hire your teenager to do this for you.

Take these 9 easy steps to complete a home inventory:

  1. Make a list of possessions, including "celebration" purchases, such as jewelry and fine art.
  2. Think about family heirlooms, collections and furniture. Also, consider items related to everyday leisure time, from flat-screen televisions to custom guitars.
  3. Take note of commonplace items such as toys, CDs and clothing. Do not forget items you may only use occasionally such as holiday decorations, sports equipment, tools, and high-ticket items kept outside your home such as landscape and swing sets.
  4. Attach copies of original sales receipts and/or appraisal documents to your inventory. Be sure to note model and serial numbers.
  5. Group your possessions into logical categories. (i.e., by hobby, by room in your home)
  6. Carefully photograph or videotape each item and document a brief description, including age, purchase price and estimated current value.
  7. Remember to open drawers and closets to document what is inside.
  8. Store your home inventory and related documents in a safe, easily accessible place, such as a secured site/file online, a fire-proof box or in a safe deposit box. You may want to share a copy with your insurance provider to make necessary updates to your coverage.
  9. Review and update your inventory annually and anytime you make a significant purchase.

More information on home inventories can be found on our website. Wisconsin residents who have more questions on home inventory or homeowners insurance, please contact KnowledgeBroker, Dan Wolfgram.

Topics: Insurance, Personal Insurance, inventory, possessions, home inventory, protect your personal property, complete a home inventory, home purchases

Your Credit Report Affects Your Insurance Score!

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Your credit report not only has an impact on your financing options for your home and car, it also affects your insurance score, which ultimately affects your homeowners insurance premiums. Insurance companies only consider those items from credit reports that are relevant to insurance loss potential. Both an insurance score and a credit score are derived from the same thing – a credit report, but they are distinctly different. Insurance scores are calculated using the following types of information:

  • Payment history: Have you made late payments or missed a payment?
  • Length of credit history: How long have you been using credit?
  • Current balance on each account compared to your highest balance: For example, if you had high credit card balances before are they lower now?
  • Number of credit accounts: How many accounts do you have? This may include credit card accounts or installment loans.
  • Credit inquiries: How often have lenders made inquiries into your credit report? This does not include “soft inquiries,” such as when a company reviews your credit report to make a promotional offer. (Credit inquiries are not used in all states.)
  • Bankruptcies, foreclosures and other collection activity (Bankruptcy information is not used in all states.)

An insurance score does not take into account income, race, gender, religion, marital status, national origin, geographic location.

Why do insurance companies use insurance scores?
Insurance scores provide an objective tool that insurers use along with other applicant information to better predict the likelihood of a consumer to file a claim. Insurance scores also help to streamline the decision making process, so that policies can be issued more efficiently. By accurately predicting the likelihood of future claims, insurers can control their risk, enabling them to offer insurance coverage at a fair cost.

How do I get a copy of my credit report?
Because information obtained from a credit report is used to determine an individual’s insurance score, customers should periodically obtain a copy of their credit report to confirm its accuracy. Your credit report can be obtained from the three major credit bureaus.

  • Equifax: 800-997-2493
  • Experian: 888-397-3742
  • Trans Union: 800-888-4213

What can I do to improve my insurance score?
Here are a few things you can do to improve your credit report and insurance score:

  • Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed. Although it is generally good to have established credit accounts, too many credit card accounts may have a negative effect on your score. Over time, responsible use of credit can increase a customer’s insurance score.
  • Keep balances low on unsecured revolving debt like credit cards. High outstanding debt can affect an insurance score.
  • Pay bills on time. Delinquent payments and collections can have a major negative impact on an insurance score.

If you are a Wisconsin resident and would like more information on improving your insurance score, contact knowledgebroker, Dan Wolfgram.

Topics: Insurance, Personal Insurance, credit score, financial history, loss history, loss potential, insurance score, improve insurance score