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The world of insurance underwriting has changed to keep up with today’s business world. It used to be that buyers submitted an insurance application along with three to five years of loss history, they received a quote and then a policy was issued if the quote was acceptable.

Times have changed. With changes in technology and the internet, insurance underwriting has adapted as well. A company’s online presence and reputation are now crucial factors for underwriter consideration. This is particularly important for industries, such as construction, that have historically higher Workers’ Compensation premiums. 

What to Consider When It Comes Workers Compensation Underwriting 

NCCI Experience Rating: It used to be a requirement for an insurance agent or insurer to obtain permission to access a company’s NCCI Experience Modification. Now it is available for a nominal fee and virtually public information.

OSHA Records: Using the www.osha.gov website, an underwriter can search individual establishments and view details on OSHA violations, inspections and corresponding fines. This has become a valuable tool for insurance underwriters and one that they leverage regularly. 

SAFER (DOT): The DOT SAFER website publishes vehicle information. Insurance underwriters like to use this for underwriting business auto policies, but will also use this to underwrite workers compensation. Workers injured in auto accidents are eligible for workers compensation benefits, so SAFER can be used to underwrite workers compensation exposures.

Dun & Bradstreet: D&B reports are used for several reasons. First, they provide a description of a company’s operations. Inconsistencies with insurance applications and D&B reports can be problematic, so it is important to verify that D&B has accurate company information. Secondly, D&B provides financial information (PayDex score) which is much like a credit score for an individual, only for businesses. A low PayDex score can give the impression that a company who is not financially strong is likely cutting corners on safety efforts and protective equipment.

Company Website: Companies need to be careful how they advertise and what is posted on their website. Agents constantly have arguments with underwriters due to companies advertising what they are “capable” of doing versus what they are “actually” doing. Every insurance underwriter will carefully evaluate and scrutinize each customer’s website, so it is important to accurately portray company operations.

When it comes to insurance underwriting, it is important for business owners to evaluate and monitor how they “look” online, especially with above mentioned websites. It is recommended to check them periodically to make sure they are portraying accurate information because it is almost certain that the underwriters are looking.


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