Fraud hurts honest employers and employees. Every time an employer or employee cheats the workers’ compensation system, honest employers pay the bill. Many people think they are cheating some big insurance company. However, fraud costs are passed on to employers as part of the premium they pay.

Every dollar that the employer wastes because of workers’ compensation fraud is a dollar that could be used to make workplaces safer, improve employee benefits or wages, hire more employees, or just survive and compete in a competitive economy.

Fraud can be contagious. If an employer loses a bid to a competitor who cheats, that employer is tempted to follow suit. When a hard working employee sees a fellow employee getting paid for faking or exaggerating an injury, the employee is tempted to do the same thing. Fortunately, most employers and employees resist the temptation. Some even become part of the solution by reporting suspected fraud.

Integrity is one of the enduring core values that guide the Hawaii Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company. Allowing people to cheat, just because it is difficult to prove and prosecute, goes against our basic principles. By fighting fraud, we catch some cheaters and deter others who may, otherwise, be tempted. We also give hope to honest employers and employees who are looking for support, not excuses, from their insurer.

Understanding the warning signs can help you in two ways: If an injury is reported to you by an employee who fits these characteristics, you should be particularly alert to rumors or other possible reasons for suspecting the claim may be fraudulent. You may also be able to take special advance precautions with certain employees, such as those facing layoffs, so that they don’t take the step of filing fraudulent claims.

If you have a claimant with any of these characteristics, or have reason to believe they may exist, be sure to alert your HEMIC representative by telephone or by attaching a note to your First Report of Injury.