Benefits of Becoming a SCHBSIF Agent
Construction can be an area that agents shy away from because of either a lack of carrier backing or a lack of agency expertise in a niche market. Our agents find our structure gives the support they need to write construction-related workers’ compensation business, if they don’t already, or a new avenue for their customers.
Our Board of Trustees consists of construction business owners with decades of experience. They’ve seen the ups and downs of the industry and guides our management team of insurance experts with balanced approach. Unlike stock and mutual carriers who are governed by white-collar financial experts, we have made a home for your current and potential construction industry customers that understands their economic cycles, unique regulatory circumstances and general business environment including their distinctive labor relationships. They know it because they live it.
Backing the Board of Trustees is a management team and staff of seasoned professionals in every aspect of the construction industry workers’ compensation business. Construction is our only focus; South Carolina is our only state. When you do one thing in one place for a long time, you cannot help but become the de facto experts in the field. Whether underwriting risk, conducting safety training, adjudicating claims or conducting annual audits, our team provides your customers with the exceptional service that will help keep them in your book of business.
Whether you’re new to writing construction business or looking to expand your list of carriers, SCHBSIF needs to be in your toolbox. Our agents are our sales force and we recognize that our agents are critical to our continued success. As an agent, you have direct access to every member of our management team as well as a dedicated customer support staff who can get things done for you and for your customers.
As an SCHBSIF agent, your opinion counts. We value our agents as a crucial source of market information as they serve on the front lines. We also value our agents as a sounding board for new programs, campaigns, rate changes and operational or procedural changes. We are well aware that what we do can affect your business, so we ensure that we include our agent force in our decision processes.
We have a very high policyholder renewal retention rate. This mean less work for our agents and commissions that continue year after year. It is also a good indicator of our policyholders’ satisfaction with both our product and our customer service.
MARKET ADVANTAGES AND CUSTOMER BENEFITS
Do you find your hands tied by other carriers who will only take on your customer’s workers’ compensation risk if they get the rest of business’ lines, too? You may have found better liability and automobile coverage with other carriers but they won’t take on the workers’ compensation coverage. You find yourself in a box. The only way your customer can get the better workers’ compensation rates is by paying more for their other lines of coverage.
We have your solution! Write you customer with us for workers’ compensation and place their other lines with the carrier who gives them the best rates for those lines.
Our Risk Control and Safety programs do more than assess your customers’ work environments for our benefit. We actually provide free safety training for them in all aspects of their business. At a minimum, each policyholder attends a seminar in their first year with us. Moreover, we offer onsite safety training for their employees at their request.
Our team of risk control and safety professionals is led by a former OSHA compliance officer with years of construction industry safety experience. That experience is made available to our policyholders through a variety of educational and assessment offerings throughout the year. Whether the policyholder is a large operation or a small family business, all can benefit from our risk control experience and services.
Tired of always having to play the middle man between your customer and the carrier because every time your customer has to interact with the carrier, the face of the carrier changes? Does every interaction result in your customer having to plow that same ground over and over because there is no continuity on the carrier’s end? Your customer feels that they’re just another number to the carrier who knows nothing about their business. Our size, scope and business model removes that barrier to your having a satisfied customer. Each of our policyholders is assigned their own customer service representative and their own premium auditor who come to know your customer’s business. They are routinely available to answer any questions, resolve any issues and provide guidance and advice. As an agent for SCHBSIF, the faces standing behind you become as familiar to your customer as your own.
Each year, our Board of Trustees awards five $1,000 merit-based college scholarships to dependents of our policyholders or the dependents of their direct employees who are judged by a panel of independent judges unrelated to SCHBSIF. We are consistently amazed by these young awardees!
As a part of the policyholder benefit program, we celebrate the award with a reception and sit-down dinner honoring the awardees and their parents. The invitations also include one to each writing agent.
When you become an agent, you’re given access to our advanced online self-service portal. This portal provides you with a complete picture of your book of business with us. Everything from downloadable copies of policies to online application creation is at your fingertips. Better still, you have complete control of your portal. You can assign new users to appropriate roles and determine what each role can and cannot do within the system. You can print reports, monitor you book of business including commissions and gain access to other resources reserved exclusively for our agents.
As a workers’ compensation self-insurance trust fund, we operate under the governance and oversight of the SC Workers’ Compensation Commission instead of under those of the SC Department of Insurance. Being a single industry, mono-line, mono-state carrier, our focus is not distracted by the flavor of the day. We do not get distracted by competing forces that can detract from the services we provide our agents and policyholders.
As a trust fund, we are not obligated to comply with NCCI requirements. We do, of course, use their requirements and statistics as guidelines as they do possess a vast amount of knowledge concerning insurance. However, we are free to deviate as we wish to better serve the construction industry. Such latitude makes our product distinctly different from that of stock and mutual carriers. We are beholding to neither NCCI nor Wall Street. Our commitments are to our policyholders.
In many instances, we allow splitting payroll between different class codes based upon the work performed. This is not something allowed by NCCI; however, we are able to do this. Policyholders who fully document the actual job being done by an employee may be able to attribute the applicable payroll to a class code with a lower rate under certain conditions, thereby reducing their overall premium for the policy.
One of the NCCI requirements for classifying someone as an executive supervisor is the presence of a middle tier of management between the executive supervisor and the worker. In small construction operations, this can be impossible to satisfy and the supervisor winds up being classified in the governing class code.
We have a different approach. For an executive supervisor who cannot meet the NCCI separation requirement, we offer a special 5606 rate that is slightly higher than a fully qualified executive supervisor rate without assigning the employee to the higher governing class code. In the case where the requirement is fully met, we have a different 5606 rate that is fully competitive with stock and mutual insurance company rates. Your customers can have the best of both all in one carrier.
The construction industry is a unique creature in many aspects. Among those aspects is being a seasonal and weather-dependent industry. Construction tends to slow during certain months while it picks up in others. Inclement weather also impacts what and how much work can get done. On top of that, construction is a job-driven business. Unlike the majority of industries, construction moves from job to job. Sometimes those jobs come along regularly while other times they seem to dry up.
Our policyholders who elect to pay based upon actual payroll for the prior month versus a flat monthly or annual payment can do so. This means that they pay more premium in the month following a busy month and less premium in the month following a slow month. Our premium cycle can more closely match our policyholders’ business cycles.