Page ContentFrom the Claims Corner – The Impact of Hurricane Florence Shield Services Adds New Simulator to Risk Management ToolboxUsing Telemedicine During Cold and Flu SeasonThe Effects of Hurricane Florence and Michael on Workers' Compensation--From the Claims Corner – The Impact of Hurricane Florence The Property & Casualty Claim Department is working diligently to provide claims service to our many members who incurred damage because of the hurricane. Our contract CAT adjusters have been working seven days a week meeting our members and inspecting the damage. Currently, they are in the process of preparing estimates and working towards agreeing on costs of damage to covered property. Our permanent staff is also handling claims involving numerous flooded vehicles and equipment.In addition to handling the claims, the adjusters are working with our members providing important documentation that assists in filing claims with FEMA. This is a critical service our staff provides.To provide a reference as to the magnitude of Hurricane Florence, the anticipated paid claims for Florence exceeds the combined amount paid in Hurricanes Fran (1996), Floyd (1999), Isabel (2003), Irene (2011), and Matthew (2016). Just like we help members in gauging their own risk exposures, the League's Property & Casualty Trust protects itself through proper planning and reinsurance that kicks in to pay for catastrophic losses and helps keep the fun financially secure.Hurricane Florence is one for the record books – records we hope last for quite a long time!Shield Services Adds New Simulator to Risk Management ToolboxExpanding on our commitment to providing the best possible customer service and risk management resources for our members, the League's Workers' Compensation Trust and Property and Casualty Trust recently purchased an interactive response-to-resistance simulator for law enforcement agencies to utilize in their use-of-force training. The simulator adds to our list of law enforcement services that are intended to mitigate claims to the insurance pools while equipping officers with the verbal interactive skills and proper decision-making tools needed to better serve their communities. Our training model will focus on enhancing de-escalation skills essential to effectively respond to an individual who is actively resisting an officer. The simulator training is available to law enforcement agencies that are members of the Workers' Compensation or Property and Casualty Trusts; the League will review and verify that participating agencies' Use of Force policies adhere to the most up-to-date standards and best practices prior to scheduling a response-to-resistance training.For additional information on the simulator please contact Tom Anderson at tanderson@NCLM.org or 704-517-8496Using Telemedicine During Cold and Flu SeasonAs holiday travel and cold and flu season ramps up, now is the time to remind employees who are part of the League's Health Benefits Trust medical program about TELADOC. Now is the ideal time to set up their Teladoc online account; save time later by completing the health history questionnaire for each covered family member before illness strikes. Teladoc doctors are U.S. board-certified and licensed to practice medicine in our state or any state your employees may be visiting for the holiday season. They can diagnose, treat and prescribe medication for many cold and flu symptoms, if medically necessary. When requesting to speak with a doctor, they'll ask you where you'd like any prescription to be sent, and they even will help you find a pharmacy near you when your traveling. Keep in mind, however, that antibiotics aren't always the right treatment. Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses like colds, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections. Instead, doctors may provide a treatment plan that includes symptom relief for viral infections. Read more about antibiotic abuse in this article on the Centers for Disease Control's website. The Effects of Hurricane Florence and Michael on Workers' CompensationWe are constantly reminded of how quickly things can change – in the past several months, many of our members have been forever changed by Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Even municipalities that experienced little to no damage from the storms, can feel their impacts in other ways. One such effect is the additional insurance expense incurred due to these events. For example, the extra man-hours and overtime hours increases payroll, which adds additional costs to your final Workers' Compensation audit invoice. Since there was no way of predicting the severity of these storms and the response required, it's probable that most members did not include any additional man-hours into original payroll estimates. Therefore, if you revise your budgets to reflect the additional costs related to the storms, you may wish to include some additional insurance costs due to the increase in payroll. In the case of overtime, we exclude the half time portion of overtime. We only charge workers' compensation on the straight time pay (we include all other pay types) for your employees. Example: An employee's normal work week is 40 hours for which he is paid $10 per hour. The employee worked 44 hours in a particular week. For the overtime hours (the 41st through 44th), the employee earned $15 per hour. The extra pay earned by the employee for overtime is $20 and is excluded in the premium calculation.44 hours for the week less 40 hours regular work week = 4 hours overtime4 x $15 overtime pay less 4 x $10 normal hourly wage = $20 extra pay for overtimeRemember, you originally pay your premium based on an estimated payroll. Once the year has ended, an audit is completed. Overtime premium (the half time) is excluded, but the straight time portion of the overtime does increase your total payroll. If you have over/under estimated your payrolls, the difference in premium, if any, will be adjusted at the time of your workers' compensation audit. If you did not budget for the additional expenses in this current year, we will pick up the additional payroll at audit.