Continuing to Expand

August 2009

A Note From the President:

I am pleased to enclose the FHM 2008 Annual Report showing we had a great year, thanks in no small part to the trust and confidence you have placed in us and your willingness to work with us to make your workers’ compensation program cost effective.

How is 2009 unfolding for your business? I trust you are finding ways to respond to the ever changing economy. At FHM, we continue to work hard to ensure our financial position remains strong and ensure we continue to find more effective ways to meet your workers’ compensation needs.

There have been some new developments, inside and outside FHM, since my last letter that I would like to share with you, starting with the good news that we’re growing again.

Expanding Our Horizons . . . Five States And Counting!

As you know, we have been focusing on expanding into states surrounding Florida as a way to provide more comprehensive service to our policyholders who do business throughout the southeast and to diversify our portfolio. FHM is now writing business in five southern states – Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.

If you have operations in any of these states, we would like to have an opportunity to help you consolidate your coverage. Also, if you have a relationship with an agency or agent in any of these states who you believe would be a good match for FHM, we would appreciate a recommendation from you that they consider offering FHM’s products.

FHMconnect At Your Service With Additional Security

Are you an FHMconnect user? If you are, you know how convenient it is to have all the information about your workers’ compensation program at your fingertips. As a reminder, all of the reports and forms you need to manage your claims, track activity and report accidents are available to you at the touch of a button through FHMconnect.

As an added benefit, we are enhancing the security options available to you for FHMconnect so your information can be available to users based on the profiles you establish. Contact our Policy Services department at 1-888-346-3461 x6312 for more information about FHMconnect security features.

If you’re not yet registered to use FHMconnect, I urge you to do so today! You’ll be amazed and pleased at how easy it is to use and how much information – that is continuously updated – is available to you. To enroll, visit our web site at www.FHMIC.com and click on the “register” button under the FHMconnect logo.

Effective Hiring

The people you bring into your business as employees represent you to customers and impact your businesses’ ongoing success. It’s a good idea to make sure you know as much as possible about applicants so you can make sound, objective hiring decisions. Your employees deal with customers, handle financial operations and create a lasting image in your customers’ minds. That’s why it’s a good idea to exercise as much care in hiring the right people as in training them once they’re hired. A thorough screening procedure allows you to make objective hiring decisions based on the facts about an applicant’s background.

Effective hiring practices help create safe workplaces. Safe workplaces are conducive to efficiency, are a key ingredient in success and are a benefit to employees as well as employers. FHM’s Loss Control Consultants are ready to assist you in fine tuning your hiring processes and making certain your workplace safety program is in good shape. Contact our Loss Control department at 1-888-346-3461 x6312 or visit us on the web for more information.

Legislation And Rates

Governor Crist signed into law legislation, effective July 1, restoring a cap on attorney fees and clarifying related statutory language that the Florida Supreme Court had determined to be ambiguous in its 2008 ruling in the Murray vs. Mariner Health case. Under the new law, attorneys will be paid on a fee schedule based on a percent of benefits secured. Hourly fees will not be allowed.

As a result of the legislation, there was a rollback of workers’ compensation insurance rates from April 1 rates to the lower rates that were in effect on January 1, 2009. The lower rates apply to new and renewal business starting July 1, as well as the unearned premium from policies written between April 1 and June 30.

When You File A Claim . . .

When you file a claim, you may be asked to complete a Wage Statement if your injured employee misses more than seven (7) days of work as prescribed by the physician. The benefits paid to claimants are based on the information provided by you on this Wage Statement.

Your timely, accurate completion of this form means we will be able to calculate benefits correctly. A failure to calculate and pay benefits correctly could have a negative impact on you for a number of reasons including; causing an employee who is dissatisfied with benefits to seek legal counsel to file a claim because they feel they have been underpaid, or affecting your Experience MOD by over-inflating it if the claimant was overpaid due to inaccurate reporting of wage information.

I can’t stress enough the importance of this document. If you need help completing the Wage Statement, contact your FHM Adjuster. They’ll be more than happy to help you complete the calculations.

As always, we appreciate your business and look forward to working with you to ensure your workers’ compensation program continues to meet the ever changing needs of your company and your employees. We work hard every day to earn your trust and stand firm on our commitment to A Policy To Do More.

Sincerely,

Bill Bond, Jr.
President

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