Thanks everyone for the responses on workers comp coverage. Lots of input. Here's what you all said:
we have worked with nationwide and find their local agency, the james fewer agency, easy to work with, responsive and good on rates.
I get it through Gaines Insurance, Monkton. No experience to report. I wish it was cheeper.
These are general comments and each point made has a lot of details behind it. You may get other responses that provide different information or perspectives, or offer opportunities for better service and pricing, that I am not aware of.
· Employers that have employees working in occupations with a statistically higher risk of injury, such as agriculture or forestry, with less than $10,000 in annual workers compensation insurance premiums are likely, but not certain, to be put in the "assigned risk pool" by their agent and have little to no choice who their insurance carrier is. There are three major insurance carriers that service employers in Vermont's assigned risk pool. There are many other major carriers in the "voluntary" insurance market and your agent may be able to procure coverage for you there. Typically (but not always) that is for larger employers of lower risk occupations.
· The rates in the assigned risk pool for each occupation are set by the state each year based, in part, on data that uses the five-year trends of wages, injuries, and claims in that occupation.
· If you have a formal and documented safety plan or protocol (new employee safety training for each machine or task, weekly safety meetings, PPE use and training, etc.) to reduce the risk of injuries in the workplace, make sure your agent knows about that when you get quotes for coverage.
· If you utilize any subcontractors, among other documents, obtain proof of workers' compensation insurance coverage, or a documented exemption, or you risk being charged additional premiums for these transactions at the time of your annual payroll audit.
· Having an agent that communicates well, assists the employer in preparing for their annual payroll audits, and helps with necessary documentation and decision making if there is an injury and/or a claim, is probably the most impactful place a small employer can make a difference in their long-term workers' comp cost (or the overall administrative burden) by shopping around.
We go with Farm Family, but my understanding is that the rate won't differ much from one company to another because it is set at a statewide level and is based on an experience rating from the previous three years. It's important to have your employees properly classified, since different employee categories have different WC rates.
We use Nationwide. Expensive but I think they all are. We get a discount through the Farm Bureau. No complaints otherwise.
We use Farm Family, our agent is Tim Viles out of Deerfield Mass., Farm Family saved us thousands of dollars , when we switched from Acadia to Farm Family.
Liberty Mutual, set up for us through NFP. Never had to make a claim in the roughly 10 years we have been doing worker's comp so no idea if they are good to work with or not when actually have to pay out. They seem to really like sending out redundant reminders and paperwork but that's just me grumbling about insurance companies, an ongoing peeve of mine. I opted to accept a $500 deductible this year, and when the new policy arrived it reduced the annual premium by $6.00 (!) So I called them and it took being transferred to two other people before they could reverse the request. So I guess this is not a recommendation.
Technology assigned risk - they are subcontracted through our farm system insurance which is the cooperative insurance company of Vermont.
Same as what others have said- we haven’t made a claim so they’ve been pretty straightforward to work with.
We use American National. Used to be Farm Family Casualty Insurance. Never gave us any problems and covered the one claim we’ve had without hassle. Talk to Champlain Valley Insurance in Bridport as an agent 1-800-941-7719.
Farm family, now American national.
I have always had Liberty Mutual and besides the once/year audit, I haven't had any issue with them. For the first time after 9 years I had an employee file - had a rep call me immediately and she followed up on every detail. I have no complaints about them at all. Let's see what my rate does when it comes renewal time - I was told by my insurance agent that it wouldn't be effected.
Annette Hannah at Titus Insurance is great.
American national, my agent is Bruce Gagne