What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Workers’ compensation insurance protects your business and your employees providing benefits to most types of employees who are injured on the job. These benefits can address medical care and related medical costs, retraining, lost wages until the employee can return to work or compensation for permanent disability. Injured benefits also can go to survivors if a worker is killed. The ability to transfer disbursements means workers’ compensation coverage can function similarly to other types of insurance, such as health, disability, business owners’ policy, life or general liability insurance - but it doesn’t replace these policies.
Why Choose AmTrust for Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
With an “A” (Excellent) rating by A.M. Best, AmTrust Financial always seeks to deliver superior services at a rate that’s both fair and affordable. With a variety of tools and resources at our disposal, we work with AmTrust appointed agents to provide you with a quote for small business workers’ compensation insurance quickly and easily. We can even write policies for completely new ventures that fit emerging demands in the market.
AmTrust and our agents recognize the importance of flexibility in today’s business environment. We work closely our agents and the small and mid-sized businesses they serve to design the specific packages they need to comply and succeed. Additionally, we offer advanced reporting, monitoring and audit options so both our agents and policyholders can always see how your AmTrust policy is performing for you.
To get the best policy, it matters which insurance company you choose for your workers’ comp - consider these five factors you should look for in your worker’s comp carrier.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
The main purpose of workers’ compensation insurance is to address legitimate workplace accidents and carelessness. This includes incidents that occur off the employer’s premises but in the service of the job, such as injuries sustained while traveling for work. It can cover both short-and long-term issues, like falling off a ladder or acquired carpal tunnel syndrome.
AmTrust’s Preferred Workers’ Compensation Insurance Class Codes
AmTrust currently underwrites over 350 class codes, which makes us an ideal fit for a vast number of small businesses. While not all inclusive, our workers’ compensation coverage is particularly well-suited for the following classes:
- Artisan contractors
- Beauty Shops
- Buildings-operations by owners or contractors
- Doctors & Dentists
- Machine Shops-Light metalworking
- Private schools
- Professional offices
- Retail stores
- Wholesale stores
However, we generally avoid industries that have an especially high risk of injury, such as farming, nursing homes, fast food delivery and heavy construction. Focusing on a wide variety of low-risk businesses is in the interests of our agents, our policyholders and AmTrust as a whole. For our preferred classes, we strive to provide a policy that is priced in such a way that both the policyholders and our agents are satisfied. Learn more about understanding workers’ compensation underwriting guidelines.
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As an AmTrust agent, you will be marketing a product that is backed up by one of eh most reputable and stable companies in the insurance industry.
With access to our large portfolio of competitively priced nonprofit specialty insurance products and services. AmTrust agents are uniquely able to address the special challenges that nonprofits and government employers face. Restaurant Insurance
Address restaurant business owners’ issues quickly and provide them with a decision on their insurance application in a timely matter.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Not Cover
While workers’ compensation is no-fault, certain claims generally are not covered, including when:
• A worker intentionally inflicts his or her own injuries or illnesses
• The injury or illness occurs while the worker is doing something illegal
• The employee wasn’t on the clock
• The worker’s behavior was in clear violation of company policy or protocol
• The employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• The injury occurs after an individual is laid off or terminated
Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance Mandated?
Workers’ comp insurance for the general public is state mandated, meaning that every state has its own workers’ compensation laws and programs. The U.S. Department of Labor’s State Workers’ Compensation Officials has a handy map explaining the workers’ comp insurance by state. It is important to remember that most states explicitly prohibit employers from firing workers who plan to make a workers' compensation claim, and employers cannot tell workers not to file.
How Do I Get Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
If you wonder how to get started with workers’ compensation insurance for your small business, begin by checking your state workers’ comp regulations. Based on state laws, the type of business you have and how many workers you employ, you may be required to carry a workers’ compensation policy. Assuming you do, your next step in the process is to find a provider. There are currently 22 states with state-run agencies that provide workers’ comp coverage, but they are often considered insurers of last resort. However, many states do allow coverage from private insurers, too. If you use a private insurer, make sure it has demonstrated experience in workers’ compensation for all coverages.
How Much Does it Cost to Get Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
The average cost of workers’ compensation will depend on many factors, including number of employees, annual payroll, specific occupation and the rate classification of the business. Occupations that have a high risk will naturally be more expensive to insure than occupations where risk is minimal.
It’s important to always make sure you're compliant with workers’ compensation state regulations, as failure to meet requirements can translate to state-based penalties. Despite the final total costs associated with your workers' compensation insurance policy, having a program in place can save you significant money in the long run and make it easier to manage profits and losses by reducing your out-of-pocket financial liability in the event of an employee injury. Uninsured employers may put their business and employees at risk, and may be in violation of state requirements. It’s also smart to invest in workers’ comp prevention tactics, which can help reduce the risk of injuries altogether.
Workers’ Compensation Requirements
To ensure efficient processing, please supply all requirements listed below for workers' compensation submissions.
- Complete ACORD application including insureds' FEIN, description of operations and description of the exact nature of work performed
- A premium schedule from our website with the premium you need
- A completed questionnaire
- Any appropropriate narrative clarifying the operation and experience of the risk
- Loss runs described in further detail below
Prior Experience/Loss Runs Requirements
- New ventures/No prior coverage or less than three years prior coverage
- Must have at least one full-time employee other than owner(s)
- Targeting fewer than 12 employees, unless part of a franchise program
- Eligible business operations
- Professional office exposures: doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, insurance agents, computer/programmers/consultants
- Beauty & Barber shops/Salons
- Retail stores: Sale of new merchandise, not open after 9 p.m. and no delivery
- Restaurants: Liquor receipts less than 50% of total receipts, not open after Midnight, no delivery and minimum premium of $1,000 in NY
- Laundry/Dry cleaners with no vehicle exposure
Businesses with Prior Coverage and Other Risks
For retail stores, professional office exposures, motels, restaurants, laundries and beauty shops:
- Our preferred submission guidelines require that the current year, plus the past three loss runs are submitted
- If the "preferred submissions" information is not available, we will accept the following:
- Premiums under $5,000
- Current year loss run
- Loss statement for prior years if loss runs not available
- If bureau promulgated merit credit, please provide current year loss run
- Premiums between $5,000 and $25,000
- If experience modification is less than 1.00, current year loss run
- If experience modification is greater than 1.00, current year and prior three years' loss runs or current year loss run and experience modifications worksheet
For all other risks:
- Consideration will be given for risks in business a minimum of three years with prior coverage
- Loss runs for current year and three prior complete years
- Loss runs for current year plus the experience modification worksheet
What Workers’ Compensation Laws Apply to Me?
The most basic law is whether or not you are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Every state other than Texas requires businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they employ a certain number of people.
Other states have tried to “opt out” of the workers’ comp requirement in the past, with little success. Read more about Oklahoma’s legislative battle:
- Oklahoma Justices: Opt-Out No Longer an Option
- Opt-Out Movement Stalls: For Now
- Oklahoma Opt-Out Law Ruled Unconstitutional
Other laws are also dependent on each specific state. In Illinois for example, employers are obligated to inform the workers’ compensation insurance carrier if an employee is out for three days due to an injury. They must also continue to pay the employee even if a claim has not yet been filed; provide a written statement to the employee explaining any additional information they may require for a claim; provide written explanation if benefits are denied; and file an Employer’s First Report of Injury with the state workers’ compensation commission.
Other states are different. In Georgia, an employee must be out of work for seven or more days before the employer is required to notify the Board of Workers’ Compensation. The amount of workers’ comp benefits can be determined by either a panel of physicians or a workers’ compensation managed care organization certified by the state workers’ comp board. The employers may choose which entity determines benefits.
How do state laws differ for workers’ compensation?
Some states, like California, are “no-fault,” meaning injured employees don’t need to prove that their injury was the fault of someone else to receive benefits. In “fault” states, it’s necessary to demonstrate who was to blame for an accident, making the claim resolution process longer and more arduous.
How does workers’ compensation compare for different industries?
Every industry faces unique exposures and structures workers’ compensation differently. Let’s examine construction, food services, healthcare, manufacturing and retail.
- Construction: Injuries from handling heavy equipment, illnesses from exposure to hazardous chemicals, falls at job sites- the construction industry is filled with risks. Companies may be held liable even for injury to a subcontractor. Workers’ compensation insurance covers wages and medical expenses for injured workers-as well as court costs. Risk managers in the construction industry should be sure that workers are wearing personal protective equipment (like hard hats), are trained in the latest safety protocols and identify hazardous materials long before a job begins.
- Food Services: Falls on wet floors, back injuries from repetitive motions, cuts from sharp knives, and burns from hot food are all common injuries in the food service. It’s a fast-paced world where employees hurry to get food prepped, cooked and onto patron’s plates-and that time crunch can lead to accidents and injuries. If people travel for work (like a catering company), automotive accidents could be covered under workers’ compensation. To mitigate the risk, ensure that staff wear proper attire, go through safety training, and wear proper safety equipment. Check out AmTrust’s 2018 Restaurant Risk Report to learn more how food services can mitigate risk and prepare for injuries.
- Healthcare: Repetitive movements, strains from lifting heavy patients, exposures to sicknesses, dealing with physically aggressive patients-they can all lead to injuries or illnesses for healthcare workers. Like other industries, workers’ compensation insurance for healthcare workers will cover lost wages and medical expenses for workers affected. Risk management tips include safety training, safe handling of hazardous chemicals, and proper lifting techniques and equipment.
- Manufacturing: There are no shortage of risks in manufacturing. Whether equipment malfunctions, employees suffer a sprain or strain from heavy lifting, or repetitive motion wears down muscles and joints- manufacturing can be particularly tough on the body. Good risk management includes ongoing safety training, state-of-the-art equipment, and proper safety gear.
- Retail: Employees in the retail industry can hurt themselves while stocking shelves, slip on a wet floor or get carpal tunnel syndrome form working a cash register day after day. While the injuries may not sound as severe as other industries, they still lead to more than 120,000 days away from work each year. Risk managers should ensure that workers wear closed-toed shoes, properly stretch before lifting heavy merchandise, and invest in ergonomic office supplies.
How do I determine my workers’ compensation rates?
Workers’ compensation quotes should be dependent on the amount of risk associated with your company’s tasks. The more risk, the more expensive your coverage will likely be. Those risks can be mitigated through comprehensive risk management practices that increase safety and drive down the amount of injuries or illnesses.
Rates are determined by premium rates from each employee classification code, annual payroll, and the experience modification factor. Here’s a basic example: If your construction staff is charged a rate of $2.50, you must pay $2.50 in premiums for every $100 your employees earn in payroll.
The next step is to divide each class code’s annual payroll by 100. Let’s say your construction staff earns $45,000 (divided by 100, that’s 450). Now multiply the new number (450) by the class code’s premium ($2.50 in this example). That gives us a grand total of $1,125 per year in premium costs for each construction worker. Add them together for all class codes and you have your total annual workers’ compensation insurance cost.
That cost is also subject to an experience modifier, which offers either a discount or surcharge based on claims experience over a three-year period. An applicant with little to no claims history could get an experience modifier of .90 — meaning they will be charged 90 percent of the cost as determined above.
In our previous example, premium costs of $1,125 would fall to $1,012.50 ($1,125 x .90). If you’ve had some claims, that number could increase. For example if the experience modifier was 1.1, the coverage would be 10 percent higher. In our previous example, that would mean coverage would cost $1,237 ($1,125 x 1.1).
Adding the annual premiums for all class codes will give you the estimated cost of annual workers’ comp insurance for your entire staff.
AmTrust is a leader in small business insurance solutions, offering a variety of products to meet the needs of our agents to help ensure your clients are protected from a variety of risks. AmTrust is your partner, supporting you and your clients every step of the way.
As an AmTrust agent, you’ll help your client with ongoing services including evidence of coverage and any changes to their policy as well as provide advice about adhering to workers’ comp laws. In the event of a claim, you’ll be there to help guide them through the process. Plus, we continually provide our agents with thought leadership, best practices, tools, resources, and industry information through both email communication and our blog, PolicyWire. We also work to keep both our agents and policyholders up to date on the latest industry data and research, including tips on avoiding common workplace injuries and the an overview of the workers’ compensation insurance industry outlook.
AmTrust’s Promise to Focus on Small Business
Our policyholders are the businesses you’ll find when you walk down any Main Street. As an appointed AmTrust agent, you can directly access our robust online system to provide small and mid-size business owner’s quick feedback on their applications, policies and plans. Our extensive network, unparalleled experience and strong reputation serving small businesses give you a competitive advantage when it comes to providing the right worker’s compensation coverage.
We understand that while many employers need to carry workers’ comp coverage to comply with the law, they also want to help an injured employee cover any costs for medical care and lost wages until the employee is able to return to work. It’s about both protecting a policyholder’s business and their employees. Because we handle our insureds concerns about claims, loss control resources, auditing and other issues, you can help potential policyholders rest assured that AmTrust worker’s compensation coverage will always put their needs first.
Providing Flexibility for Agents and Policyholders
We have developed a system that is easy and flexible for both our agents and our policy holders to use. Our appointed agents have direct access to AmTrust’s host of tools and resources, which, among other things, make rating potential policyholders and providing them with a quote quick and simple. That ease of use increases the chances of agents being able to market to small businesses more effectively.
Our policyholders, meanwhile, have access to an online system that makes tracking their workers’ compensation program easy. We offer simple and flexible payment options, such as industry leading PAYO and 15 other options. We also support self-reporting for some premium audit processes with the goal of making the audit process as simple and streamlined as possible. Finally, those we insure have a number of convenient options when filing and tracking a workers' compensation claim.
AmTrust Meets the Needs of our Workers’ Comp Agents
When you choose to become an insurance agent with AmTrust, you’ll become part of an organization focused on generating steady, stable and positive growth. Your career as an agent will prosper with our multi-tiered carrier approach, giving a competitive advantage with pricing flexibility. We encourage potential agents to review our workers’ comp sell sheet and read through additional requirements information to help you understand your coverage guidelines. We are committed to ensuring that our agents and policyholders have the service and support they need to succeed.