In Workers’ Compensation Underwriting Philosophy as Partnership, workers compensation expert witness David L. Stegall, CPCU, ARM, ARe, RPA, writes:
Insurance is a business based on the concept of “Utmost Good Faith” between the parties; this is the opposite of the “Caveat Emptor” (buyer beware) concept. This is particularly true of workers’ compensation where there are two beneficiaries to the agreement, the employer and the employee. Workers’ Compensation is one of the social programs that made our Free Enterprise System strong. In the 1920′s, when most states passed laws regarding workers’ compensation, it was agreed that these laws are beneficial to all parties. Employers could know the cost of labor, thereby allowing them the ability to manage their businesses and price their products with certainty and stability. Workers knew if an accident or illness did occur from their work, they would be able to receive benefits without filing suit against their employer and seeking relief in tort. This system bestows both rights and responsibilities on the parties to the agreement. It was intended to be a no-fault, non-adversarial system and to succeed it requires both parties to act with the utmost good faith.
David Stegall is the Principal Consultant at Risk Consulting & Expert Services.