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Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the difference in coverage between a sole proprietor, partners, members of Limited Liability Companies (LLC), members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP), and executive officers? 

SOLE PROPRIETORS, PARTNERS, MEMBERS OF LLCS AND LLPS Sole proprietors, partners, members of LLCs and LLPs are not covered under a worker's compensation policy unless they elect the coverage.  They may elect to be eligible for worker's compensation benefits by including endorsement WC 00 03 10 with their existing policy.  Premium is determined by using the payroll for individuals/partners given in the most recent rate revision circular.  This election may be withdrawn upon 30 days written notice to the insurance carrier and filing WC 00 03 08 (Sole Proprietor/Partner/Officer Exclusion) with WCRB. 

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS Not more than two officers of a corporation, having ten or fewer stockholders, may elect not to be covered by a worker's compensation insurance policy.  The election may be made at any time during the policy period and the insurance policy shall be endorsed (WC 00 03 08) naming each officer who has so elected.  The election may not be reversed during the period of the policy.


I am starting a new business, what coverage do I need?

Insurance needs can vary for every business but the basic coverage needed are Property, Liability, Umbrella, Automobile, and Workers Compensation.  Depending on the industry there can be additional coverage needed to be properly insured.


Does my business need employment practices liability?

Employment Practices Liability covers allegations of employment-related discrimination and sexual harassment, or retaliation against an employee. The cost of defending your business against these types of allegations can be considerable.


Who has to carry worker’s compensation insurance?

Employers who employ three or more workers on a full or part-time basis. Employers who employ one or more workers on a full or part-time basis and who pay gross, combined wages of $500 or more in any calendar quarter for work done in Wisconsin must have insurance by the 10th day of the first month of the next calendar quarter. Farmers who employ six or more workers on any 20 days during a calendar year must have insurance 10 days after the 20th day of employment.


How are workers compensation premiums calculated?

Worker's Compensation premiums are determined by multiplying a state set manual rate by the amount of estimated payroll (measured in $100 increments), times your individual experience rating modification.  


What is Experience Rating?

Experience Rating is a method for tailoring the cost of worker’s compensation insurance to reflect the risks of an individual business. Using past loss experience (usually three years) to forecast or predict future worker’s compensation losses does this. It gives an employer the opportunity to have an impact on the final cost of his or her worker’s compensation insurance by controlling workplace hazards that can cause injuries to employees.

In simple terms, the plan compares an employer’s experience with the experience that is expected for employers engaged in the same business. For example, if claim experience is better than what is expected, the employer will earn a "credit" experience rating modification, which will decrease the amount of premium paid. Conversely, if claim experience is worse than what is expected, the employer will earn a "debit" experience rating modification, which will increase the amount of premium paid.


Can an employer pay all or a portion of worker's compensation claims directly?

The insurance company is the proper payee of all worker's compensation claims.  Agents, consultants, or insurers may not, without violating insurance statutes, advise employers to circumvent the worker's compensation system.

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, along with the Worker's Compensation Division of the Department of Workforce Development, and the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau, hold that consultants, agents, and insurance companies must not encourage, advise, or condone the direct payment by employers of any portion of medical and/or indemnity charges resulting from work injuries. All worker's compensation injury claims must be reported to the insurance company.


Do I need to cover independent sub-contractors for workers compensation?

No, you are not required to cover independent sub-contractors for Worker's Compensation.  But, if the independent sub-contractor does not have a Worker's Compensation policy in place to cover their business they would be automatically covered under the hiring companies Worker's Compensation policy.  It is important to request a certificate of insurance showing a Worker's Compensation policy is in force from all independent sub-contractors prior to allowing them to perform work.   

Independent sub-contractors who have no employees or who are not required to be insured may buy a policy to cover themselves.


What is the purpose of the Wisconsin Contractor’s Premium Adjustment Program (WCPAP)?

The Wisconsin Contractor’s Premium Adjustment Program is designed to reduce an employer’s worker’s compensation premium by way of a premium credit based upon the employer’s average hourly wage level.  In an attempt to balance the premium difference between high and low wage paying employers in the construction or contracting trades, this program grants a policy credit based on the average hourly wage paid by employers.  Because higher wages are paid to more experienced workers, the cost for worker’s compensation coverage is higher for those employers paying a higher than average hourly wage.  The employer paying the higher wage is then at a disadvantage when bidding against the lower paying competition for contracts.  The WCPAP attempts to correct this inequity.  The higher the wage paid, the higher the credit, which allows for a more equitable premium charge for employers in the same industry.


Does my business need employment practices liability?

Employment Practices Liability covers allegations of employment-related discrimination and sexual harassment, or retaliation against an employee. The cost of defending your business against these types of allegations can be considerable.


What is the difference between General Liability and Professional Liability?  

General Liability covers bodily injury or property damage to a 3rd party.  Professional Liability insurance provides coverage against claims of negligence or mistakes that cause financial harm to another person or company, and covers both the obligation to pay damages for covered claims, as well as the cost to defend against such claims.

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