Last year we started a revolution. We did it for you.

The naturalist Charles Darwin used the phrase “survival of the fittest” in 1868, noting that those who are best suited to their environment are most likely to thrive. Modern thinkers have adapted that statement to business — “survival of the most adaptable.”

That idea has never been truer, especially in a world that is changing at lightning speed. We are constantly scanning the horizon to anticipate what our stakeholders’ needs will look like in the coming years. Last year, we developed a new vision statement that reflects the dynamic environment: “To lead a revolution in caring for people, businesses and our communities.”

As we’ve actively sought the insights of our stakeholders, we’ve heard over and over again that caring is at the core of Pinnacol. That core will never change but we won’t succeed or be relevant unless we invest in new ways to deliver care that matches our customers’ expectations in 2017 and beyond.

These investments are paying off for Pinnacol, and the benefits to our policyholders are adding up. In 2016, we decreased rates by more than three percent, and we issued a general dividend of $30 million. Continued improvements led to another three percent rate decrease for 2017 and an even larger dividend — $50 million, or nearly eight percent of our overall premium.

But what we’ve done in the past won’t necessarily lead to success in the future. We believe that the way we interact with our customers in five years will be unrecognizable when compared with our current approach. Small, disruptive businesses that aren’t beholden to the old rules are raising the bar by which all companies are judged.

As consumers, our expectations are shaped by the experiences we have with Amazon, Lyft and many others. We all want “easy buttons” that are tailored to our needs, with a premium on speed, ease of use and access to services when and how we want them.

Of course, our vision of leading a revolution in caring will not be created with one dramatic event. It’s something we will build through many small but intentional changes. That’s why we’re reimagining every aspect of what we do.

We’ve been planting digital seeds to improve the customer experience for a couple of years now, and they’re starting to bear fruit.

We’ve improved our policyholder portal so that many of the records that used to be available only in print are now digitized and available online to our customers. In the two months since we transitioned from printed to online medical records, we’ve printed nearly a half million fewer pages than the same period last year, saving almost $20,000 in printing and postage. Most important, these records are available to injured workers and their caregivers whenever they want them.

We’ve launched online certificates of insurance this year, making it easier for policyholders to access and share proof of coverage. In the past, we sent out by fax or mail approximately 96,000 certificates a year. Now, customers can access a mobile application where they can create, manage and renew certificates and send them out by email without needing to contact Pinnacol. And they can do it from their mobile device. This gives them more time to manage their business instead of shuffling paper.

And since June 5, we’ve been offering direct deposit for injured worker benefits, meaning they get the money they need quickly and conveniently. Previously, we mailed over 100,000 paper checks a year at a cost of $150,000 annually. Our goal is to have 70 percent of our injured workers who receive recurring payments on direct deposit by the end of the year. The cost savings should exceed $100,000; but more important, we are creating one more “easy button” for our injured workers. No more waiting for checks, going to the mailbox and going to the bank, all while trying to recover from an injury.

While we’re innovating in the digital space, we’re also using lean methods to make our existing processes clean and efficient. This means identifying the things that add value for our customers, and discarding the rest.

Recently, our business service representatives examined how they matched liability admissions to supporting paperwork. The old approach meant moving thousands of pages from one part of the building to another, multiple handoffs and duplication every day.

Multiple departments came together with one of our lean coaches and examined every step of the process. Then the group stripped it down to only those tasks that added value. The results are impressive: 80 percent reduction in time spent, nearly 80 percent decrease in distance traveled around the building, and 100 percent on-time completion rate.

The time and effort saved through this and other lean exercises has freed up our people to focus their expertise on work that’s more in line with customer needs. As we continue to adapt and reinvent our customer relationships, we’re confident we will achieve a revolution in caring for the people, businesses and communities of Colorado.

Philip B Kalin PHILIP B. KALIN
President and CEO
  • Rod
  • Kirstin
  • Allen
  • Monique

"I was beside myself with worry, until he stepped in."

From a policyholder about Rod, an underwriter

When our business changed payroll companies, a series of missteps resulted in our premium not being paid to Pinnacol. That meant our policy would be cancelled and we would lose coverage for our employees. I was beside myself with worry, until Rod stepped in to assist and graciously gave me more time to make the situation right. Wow!

"The customer is her number one priority."

From a medical provider about Kirstin, a business service representative

“I called Kirstin about an injured worker who only spoke a little-used dialect. The man was in a lot of pain and needed immediate treatment. Kirstin called Pinnacol’s list of interpreting companies one by one until she found someone who could speak the language. In the end, an injured man in serious pain received the care that he desperately needed, thanks to Kirstin. I can tell that for Kirstin the customer is her number one priority and in this case she directly impacted a life.”

"His support and encouragement helped make it bearable."

From an injured worker about Allen, a senior claims representative

“I can't say enough about the excellent, timely and respectful care I received from Allen. This was the worst (health-wise) year of my life. His support and encouragement helped make it bearable. Pinnacol is blessed to have him as an employee!”

"She is always going that extra step in difficult situations."

From an agent about Monique, an underwriter

“Monique makes sure I get the information I need to address my clients concerns and questions. She is diligent in her responses to me and is always going that extra step in difficult situations. She makes navigating Pinnacol’s processes and procedures seamless. You have a great asset on your team with Monique. She represents the best of what Pinnacol has to offer.”

Let's look at the numbers.

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