I often get asked, “How can I tell if the amount of Workers’ Comp insurance coverage that I’ve got is “just right”? I’ve thought about it and there are seven questions that you can ask your broker to make sure that you are getting the lowest rate with the right carrier.
1. How Many Credits are on my policy and what is the discount applied by the carrier?
I wrote earlier in the week about how credits work. The key takeaway is, you have to ask if you want any credit beyond the standard offer. And asking the carrier begins with asking the broker. A good broker should be lobbying for you. If the answer is, “I don’t know.” That will tell you something.
2. What are my carrier’s maximum credits and what is their maximum discount level?
This is another question that gages your broker’s interest in your account. Also, the question initiates a review of the carrier’s credit policy.
3. Did you go back to the carrier and try to get additional credits for me? How many times?
Sometimes you have to ask more than once. Underwriters are people. Their in box is full just like yours and, as the adage goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. So squeak.
4. Do I have an Ex-Mod? Is it listed accurately on the policy?
So much of your rate is tied to the Ex-Mod check it and double check it
5. Is my payroll listed correctly?
Your broker may not be aware that the size of your staff and your payroll has changed since the last time you renewed. Since your cost is tied to a percentage of your payroll it is important that this number is accurate. Additionally, during the audit period, and you know there is one, you don’t want to have to write a “surprise” check because your payroll listing was inaccurate.
6. What is the rating of my carrier?
Being with the wrong carrier can hurt your business. For example, contractors can’t qualify for many projects with a “B” rated carrier. While you’re talking about carriers… ask your broker why you are with this specific carrier. Are there others available as well? Sometimes brokers have volume deals with a certain carrier and being with them serves the broker but not necessarily you.
7. What payment plan is best for my payroll? Fixed or “Pay as you go”?
If your payroll fluctuates monthly or seasonally than pay as you go is the way to do it. That way you are able to keep cash on hand as opposed to paying too much initially and getting it back at the end of the period. You broker needs to understand the flow of your business in order to serve you best.
There are other good questions as well and we’d be happy to cover them with you. Feel free to contact us.