2017 Risk All Star: Kevin Moss

The Right Formula for Claims Closure

Kevin Moss jocularly refers to himself as a “recovering adjuster.” But the term is apt, given the way his view of claims has evolved over time. He sees the big picture, he asks questions and listens. He figures out how to turn each unique situation into a win for everyone.

Kevin Moss, Director of Casualty Insurance and Risk, Michelin North America

Moss is the director of Casualty Insurance and Risk for Greenville, S.C.-based Michelin North America Inc., managing risk for 22,000-plus employees across 19 plants. One key area of focus for Moss, since joining the company in 2007, has been reducing the company’s outstanding liability exposure from worker injury claims — some decades old.

In 2014, Moss launched Michelin’s largest comprehensive claim review to date and determined that of the company’s 483 open claims, 186 high-value claims accounted for 83 percent of Michelin’s outstanding liability.

Working closely with partners from claims services provider Gallagher Bassett Services and broker Willis Towers Watson, the team brought in reserve experts and undertook a sizable claims closure project.

The outstanding exposure on the closure project has been reduced to $14,097,290 – a 46 percent reduction in outstanding reserves. Achieving that, said Moss, takes hard work, but the keys to success are quite clear.

First things first: Put in the work on the front end to review all claims and ensure they’re correctly reserved. With that locked down, you can put settlement plans in place for each claim, involving annuity companies where possible.

Moss says he’s not opposed to spending extra money to close a claim, and he credits Michelin’s leadership for allowing him the leeway to do so. Getting that kind of buy-in for a claims closure project, he said, means being able to clearly express the business case and the benefits for the company.

“I want to make sure that the financial people here understand what I’m doing, that my boss understands it.  So I’ve had to learn how to speak finance — I do have an econ degree so that helps.” — Kevin Moss, Director of Casualty Insurance and Risk, Michelin North America

“I want to make sure that the financial people here understand what I’m doing, that my boss understands it,” he said, “so I’ve had to learn how to speak finance — I do have an econ degree so that helps.”

When it’s time to approach claimants, keep in mind that some claims require careful handling.

In Michelin’s case, “most of the older claims are medical,” Moss explained, “and people are scared to monkey with something they’ve been doing since the ’60s.”

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That’s why Moss wasn’t content to just send out letters. He knew that in some cases, his efforts would be better spent going to people’s houses, bringing an annuity expert along, and explaining to people face-to-face what settling the claim would mean.

With many of the claimants advancing in age, Moss would talk to them about creating a transferable annuity, allowing them to give it to a grandchild or other family member to help pay for college.

Above all, Moss is committed to making sure each settlement is fair.

“Not only do we want to make sure we understand what the exposure is,” he said, “we want to make sure we do the right thing by everybody.” &

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Risk All Stars stand out from their peers by overcoming challenges through exceptional problem solving, creativity, perseverance and passion.

See the complete list of 2017 Risk All Stars.

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

2017 Teddy Awards

The Era of Engagement

The very best workers’ compensation programs are the ones where workers aren’t just the subject of the program, they’re a part of it.
By: | November 1, 2017 • 5 min read

Employee engagement, employee advocacy, employee participation — these are common threads running through the programs we honor this year in the 2017 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Awards, sponsored by PMA Companies.

A panel of judges — including workers’ comp executives who actively engage their own employees — selected this year’s winners on the basis of performance, sustainability, innovation and teamwork. The winners hail from different industries and regions, but all make people part of the solution to unique challenges.

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Valley Health System is all-too keenly aware of the risk of violence in health care settings, running the gamut from disruptive patients to grieving, overwrought family members to mentally unstable active shooters.

Valley Health employs a proactive and comprehensive plan to respond to violent scenarios, involving its Code Atlas Team — 50 members of the clinical staff and security departments who undergo specialized training. Valley Health drills regularly, including intense annual active shooter drills that involve participation from local law enforcement.

The drills are unnerving for many, but the program is making a difference — the health system cut its workplace violence injuries in half in the course of just one year.

“We’re looking at patient safety and employee safety like never before,” said Barbara Schultz, director of employee health and wellness.

At Rochester Regional Health’s five hospitals and six long-term care facilities, a key loss driver was slips and falls. The system’s mandatory safety shoe program saw only moderate take-up, but the reason wasn’t clear.

Rather than force managers to write up non-compliant employees, senior manager of workers’ compensation and employee safety Monica Manske got proactive, using a survey as well as one-on-one communication to suss out the obstacles. After making changes based on the feedback, shoe compliance shot up from 35 percent to 85 percent, contributing to a 42 percent reduction in lost-time claims and a 46 percent reduction in injuries.

For the shoe program, as well as every RRH safety initiative, Manske’s team takes the same approach: engaging employees to teach and encourage safe behaviors rather than punishing them for lapses.

For some of this year’s Teddy winners, success was born of the company’s willingness to make dramatic program changes.

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Delta Air Lines made two ambitious program changes since 2013. First it adopted an employee advocacy model for its disability and leave of absence programs. After tasting success, the company transitioned all lines including workers’ compensation to an integrated absence management program bundled under a single TPA.

While skeptics assume “employee advocacy” means more claims and higher costs, Delta answers with a reality that’s quite the opposite. A year after the transition, Delta reduced open claims from 3,479 to 1,367, with its total incurred amount decreased by $50.1 million — head and shoulders above its projected goals.

For the Massachusetts Port Authority, change meant ending the era of having a self-administered program and partnering with a TPA. It also meant switching from a guaranteed cost program to a self-insured program for a significant segment of its workforce.

Massport’s results make a great argument for embracing change: The organization saved $21 million over the past six years. Freeing up resources allowed Massport to increase focus on safety as well as medical management and chopped its medical costs per claim in half — even while allowing employees to choose their own health care providers.

Risk & Insurance® congratulates the 2017 Teddy Award winners and holds them in high esteem for their tireless commitment to a safe workforce that’s fully engaged in its own care. &

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More coverage of the 2017 Teddy Award Winners and Honorable Mentions:

Advocacy Takes Off: At Delta Air Lines, putting employees first is the right thing to do, for employees and employer alike.

 

Proactive Approach to Employee SafetyThe Valley Health System shifted its philosophy on workers’ compensation, putting employee and patient safety at the forefront.

 

Getting It Right: Better coordination of workers’ compensation risk management spelled success for the Massachusetts Port Authority.

 

Carrots: Not SticksAt Rochester Regional Health, the workers’ comp and safety team champion employee engagement and positive reinforcement.

 

Fit for Duty: Recognizing parallels between athletes and public safety officials, the city of Denver made tailored fitness training part of its safety plan.

 

Triage, Transparency and TeamworkWhen the City of Surprise, Ariz. got proactive about reining in its claims, it also took steps to get employees engaged in making things better for everyone.

A Lesson in Leadership: Shared responsibility, data analysis and a commitment to employees are the hallmarks of Benco Dental’s workers’ comp program.

 

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]