If you look forward to going to work every day, oftentimes it’s because of the people you work with. That’s how it was for Josh Paulin. As a valued member of the Classic Construction team, Josh’s special relationship with his employer provided the momentum for his successful return-to-work story. While sealing a roof on the job, Josh fell and nearly lost his life. Josh’s coworkers watched the traumatic accident in devastation as paramedics fought to save him.
When you’re faced with a life-changing event like Josh was, the best outcome is getting back to the life you love. For Josh, getting to that point required learning to walk, talk and read again. Watch Josh’s story and see how Texas Mutual Insurance Company and his employer were by his side every step of the way.
Josh’s story is a perfect example of how valuable a return-to-work initiative is for businesses and injured workers. As a seasoned employee, Josh’s employer was eager to get him back on the team. While continuing rehabilitation, Josh went back to work with modified job duties. He was able to contribute his unique expertise to the company surrounded by coworkers who supported his ongoing recovery. Meanwhile, Josh’s employer had peace of mind over the future of his business.
When a worker sustains life-changing injuries, coming to terms with the new way of life can be a challenge, but a return-to-work program provides countless benefits. Employees can focus on their recovery rather than stress about their financial situation. By being surrounded by team comradery, they avoid isolation from peers and symptoms of depression. Giving injured workers purpose and surrounding them with familiar faces to celebrate recovery milestones promotes quicker healing.
For employers, implementing a return-to-work program maintains production by keeping experienced workers on the job. Bringing on a temporary employee or hiring someone new requires time and effort. Meanwhile, the business loses productivity. Employers who invest in return to work can minimize lost productivity and control workers’ compensation costs, while also encouraging the ongoing recovery of a valued employee.
It was a team effort getting Josh back on the job after his traumatic accident, but it made all the difference. For more resources on return-to-work programs and implementing them in your business, visit the Return-To-Work page at texasmutual.com.
via Texas Mutual
Texas Mutual’s board of directors voted unanimously to approve a company-record $240 million dividend distribution in 2016. Qualifying policyholder owners across Texas will share the dividend, which will be distributed beginning in July.
This is the 18th consecutive year the board has voted to distribute policyholder dividends, bringing the total to over $2 billion. Over $1 billion of that has been paid since 2012.
Texas Mutual is owned by its policyholders, not stockholders, which means the company shares its success by distributing dividends to policyholder owners who have made a commitment to preventing workplace accidents and helping injured workers get back on the job.
“Texas Mutual has a long history of rewarding our policyholder owners for their contributions to our success,” said Bob Barnes, chairman of Texas Mutual’s board. “These dividends reward safe business practices and also help our policyholders’ bottom lines. Our policyholder owners play an important role in Texas’ economy, and we know the difference these dividends can make for them.”
Texas Mutual President and CEO Rich Gergasko said the dividend distribution is about more than just financial success and that it also signifies the commitment the company and its policyholders make to keeping workplaces safe.
“Texas Mutual measures success not just in terms of dollars and cents but also in the number of lives saved and accidents prevented when employers place an emphasis on workplace safety,” Gergasko said. “We’re proud to share our success and reward the safety efforts Texas employers make with this year’s dividend distribution.”
Gergasko noted that while Texas Mutual has awarded dividends each year since 1999, they are based on performance and therefore are not guaranteed. Additionally, dividends must comply with Texas Department of Insurance regulations.
The purpose of this bill is to extend Workers’ Compensation coverage to firefighters and emergency medical responders when in route to an emergency call. This bill is intended to clarify that these responders are covered for Workers’ Compensation while they are in route, where today this is a gray area under the definition of “course and scope” which excludes Workers’ Compensation coverage while commuting to work. This is an important piece of legislation to protect emergency responders, particularly volunteers, that risk their lives to protect our communities and who respond to emergencies directly from their homes or work places.
This bill will be heard on Tuesday, April 7th by the Business & Industry Committee. Please send a letter of support today to:
The Honorable Rene Oliveira
Chair and Members of the Business & Industry Committee
P O Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768-2910
Click Here to E-mail Rene Oliveira
Phone: (512) 463-0640 or (956) 542-1828
Please also plan on being at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 7th at 11:30 am to register in support of this bill. We need your voices to be heard!
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE BILL
Currently, the following organizations have stated their opinion of HB 2771:
VFIS of Texas – support
Texas Mutual Insurance Company - support
State Firefighters’ and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas (SFFMA) – support
Independent Insurance Agents of Texas (IIAT) – support
Texas State Association of Fire and Emergency Districts (SAFE-D) – support
Texas Fire Marshals’ Association (TXFMA) – support
Texas Fire Chiefs Association (TFCA) – neutral
Texas Municipal League – opposed
2015 HB 3667 Grant enrollment period now open (Workers' Compensation, Death, and/or Disability coverage)
2015 HB 3667 Grant: Workers' Compensation, Death, and/or Disability coverage - The 77th Texas Legislature (HB3667) created the Rural VFD Insurance Program and is funded by a 2% sales tax on the sale of fireworks. The program provides reimbursement grants for Texas firefighters to obtain workers compensation, death and disability insurance from private insurance companies. Each year more than 400 fire departments and 11,000 firefighters take advantage of the grant offering.
Who is eligible...
Any chartered, non-profit volunteer or part-paid/volunteer fire department is eligible, provided the number of paid members is 20 or less.
All qualified departments must participate in a firefighter certification program administered under Section 419.071 of the Texas Government Code (Texas Commission on Fire Protection), or by the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshal’s Association of Texas (SFFMA), or by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG).
What is eligible...
Any combination of compensation insurance for firefighters (Workers' Compensation, Death, and/or Disability Insurance) is eligible. The insurance coverage must include a workers' compensation or similar benefit, and a death benefit. Departments may enter into agreements with cities or counties in order to qualify for coverage and/or special premiums.
How much will it pay...
The program will reimburse 100% of the actual cost of eligible insurance coverage, up to a maximum of $112.00 per fire department member covered in the calendar year 2015.
How to apply...
It's easy, simply complete the following forms and submit via fax or mail. Please submit these forms only once during the enrollment period of December 2014 thru August 2015.
FAX: (979) 845-6160
Texas A&M Forest Service
Capacity Building Department
200 Technology Way, Suite 1162
College Station, TX 77845-3424
For more information...
Historical Funding Summaries
Fire and emergency service organizations throughout Texas have relied on VFIS’s Accident and Sickness program to cover emergency services related accidents and illnesses including heart attacks. However, many heart and circulatory related claims (including Cancer) may not be covered by Workers’ Compensation or Accident & Sickness policies.
Now, with the VFIS Critical Illness Insurance Program, Texas' emergency service personnel can receive a lump sum cash benefit when diagnosed with a heart attack, stroke or life threatening cancer. Learn More: http://www.vfistx.com/critical-illness.html
Workers’ compensation is a state-regulated insurance system that pays the medical bills and some lost wages of employees injured on the job. Texas doesn’t require most private employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. Employers who don’t offer workers’ compensation coverage are called nonsubscribers.
Nonsubscribers lose important legal protections, including immunity from most lawsuits by injured workers. They could also be forced to pay high damage awards if an injured employee can prove in court that the employer was negligent in any way.
If an employer has workers’ compensation insurance, Texas law limits the employer’s liability for work-related injuries. Injured employees may get medical and income benefits set by state law but may not sue their employers.
Employers without workers’ compensation could be forced to pay punitive damages if they lose injury lawsuits. They also lose certain common-law defenses, such as arguing that
Employers that do not carry workers’ compensation coverage must file DWC Form-005 annually with the Texas Department of Insurance. A written notice must also be posted at the workplace telling employees that they do not have workers’ compensation insurance. For more information and copies of the notices – CLICK HERE .
“There’s a lot of attention for line of duty deaths. Firefighters who die in a burning building, in a collapse—the funerals are on television. The truth is the number of us dying with our boots off is far greater."
CBS4 in Miami recently published an article highlighting the silent killer known as cancer and how strong of an effect it has on putting firefighters' lives in danger. The article, which we highly recommend reading, can be read here: http://miami.cbslocal.com/2014/04/29/cbs4-investigates-silent-killer-claiming-lives-of-firefighters while the video report is embedded above.
Cancer is unfortunately a disease that should be on the minds of all individuals involved in emergency services. And unfortunately, many have no coverage under an Accident and Sickness program and limited, if any coverage, available through Workers’ Compensation.
However, with the VFIS Critical Illness Insurance Program, your emergency service personnel can receive a lump sum cash benefit when diagnosed with a heart attack, stroke or life threatening cancer. Coverage is provided on a 24 hour on and off duty basis. Of course like all insurance policies, there are certain conditions of coverage among them:
Conditions of Coverage:
Who is eligible?
Learn More: CRITICAL ILLNESS FLYER
The Texas Rural Volunteer Fire Department Insurance Program is a grant program funded by the Texas State Legislature by HB3667. It provides funding to rural volunteer fire departments for the purchase of Workers’ Compensation and/or Accident & Sickness coverage. For 2013, the reimbursement is up to $105 per firefighter. This program is administered by the Texas Forest Service.
The deadline for submitting your reimbursement forms is August 31st or when the allocated funds are depleted. Don't delay turning in your information.
Click on the forms below to download:
VFIS of Texas NEWS
Here you will find helpful information regarding firefighters, ems responders, and updates in insurance policies.