Worker’s compensation insurance is a federally mandated, state-regulated program that protects your business if an employee gets injured as a result of work-related activities. Lost time accidents are not uncommon on the farm and medical and disability costs can be overwhelming. Costs can quickly reach levels that could threaten your farm or business if you’re not covered correctly by workers’ compensation insurance. Not all states require that you carry workers’ comp insurance but even if a state doesn’t require that you carry coverage, it’s very important to know that you are still responsible for costs if an employee sustains a work-related injury. When your business is covered correctly, workers compensation insurance will pay for employee medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation and more.
As important as it can be to carry worker’s compensation insurance, it is equally important to work with the right partner. You want to find someone who knows agriculture and workers’ compensation coverage and can provide more than just insurance. There are a number of other services you should expect from you agent:
- Risk Analysis and Loss Control – You should have access to an OSHA outreach trained loss control team that will visit your farm to identify hazards, review procedures, offer corrective actions and help implement effective controls to minimize the risk of injury to your employees.
- Safety Training – You should be offered a safety training program to help develop a strong culture of on-farm safety. These programs help improve employee safety and worker retention as well as show increases in efficiency and productivity.
- Claims Management – You should expect your agent to help manage your claims with the goal of keeping the overall costs down and resolve cases quickly. Additionally, they should provide a medical bill review, to ensure that you are not double billed, procedures are coded correctly, etc.
- Regulatory Compliance Assistance – You should be kept up to date. You need a specialist in workers’ compensation with a focus on agriculture who will stay on top of regulations that may affect you. It’s essential that you have someone monitoring changes and ensuring that you remain compliant and protected.
- Customer Service – You should have access to live customer service – 24/7. When you need help, you want to talk to a live person not an automated service.
- Agriculture Focus: Your business is agriculture, you want someone who understands that, someone that focuses solely on your industry. It’s important that your agent is committed to supporting your values. When your agent is focused on agriculture, they understand the risks involved with your business and can make sure you are covered correctly at a competitive price.
- Dividends and Deductibles – Your agent should talk to you about dividends and deductibles and how then can affect overall costs. A dividend plan is a way for an employer to share in the savings from running a safe operation. It means you and your insurance company are working together to build a culture of safety. Deductibles can lower up front premiums, but if you have a claim or two, your costs can quickly exceed any savings you might see. It’s very important to understand your total out of pocket costs – including premiums, deductibles and first aids.
In Agri-Services Agency, you have a partner that has been in the agricultural insurance business for over 50 years and provides each of these services, at no cost, to our customers. If you’d like to know more about how workers’ compensation insurance can protect your business or learn about what ASA has to offer, don’t hesitate to give us a call. It’s been a challenging year, if your business has changed, your insurance should too. You can call our service center at 877-466-9089 or visit us at agri-servicesagency.com.
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