The following is a brief overview of workers’ compensation and what it provides. We’ve included some essential bullet points specific to Workers’ Comp services for gun ranges to help you control your costs and improve your employees’ safety.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation insurance helps protect businesses and their employees from financial loss when an employee is hurt on the job or gets sick from a work-related cause. Workers’ compensation is also known as workman’s comp, workman’s compensation, and workers’ comp. These terms all mean the same thing and help protect workers from potentially devastating costs of work-related injuries. It also helps protect employers from potential damages that could cripple a business based on workers’ comp claims. Most states require companies to carry workers’ compensation insurance except for Texas and New Jersey. In those states, coverage is elective.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Another frequently asked question includes the coverage of workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance helps cover medical expenses, lost wages, ongoing care costs, as well as funeral expenses if an employee is hurt, becomes sick, or dies as a result of a work-related accident or illness.
What Is Not Covered by Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ compensation insurance can help protect your business and employees in the event of a covered loss. Still, some situations take place on the job that workman’s comp insurance cannot cover. These vary from state to state and are typically determined by different state laws.
Here are a few examples of what most workers’ compensation plans do not cover:
- Injuries received by a fight that an employee started
- Injuries an employee sustains due to being intoxicated in the workplace
- Injuries an employee gets intentionally
- Emotional injuries that are not accompanied by a physical workplace trauma
Work comp for shooting ranges has historically been a headache. Today over 85% of shooting ranges still buy their workers’ comp from the state pools because they don’t think they have options. SAGE has been providing real workers’ comp solutions for several hundred ranges since 2007. We proudly support the shooting sports industry and are here to serve. Here are a few key things to consider for your firing range:
- Growth – There’s been tremendous growth, over 8.4 million first time gun owners, in 2020! All of these people are looking for places to shoot and need proper safety training. Most ranges have added staff to accommodate this new demand, which results in higher payroll. Work comp premium is calculated off of an estimated payroll at the start of your policy. If you’ve had growth, you need to talk to your insurance carrier or agent and let them know so they can adjust your policy. If not, you’ll owe more money at the final audit.
- Safety – With growth comes a faster pace that can lead to safety procedures being overlooked. You must take time to review your safety programs and employee training procedures. Keeping your employees safe should be a #1 priority; slow down and stay focused.
- Experience modification factor – this factor is used to compare your work comp experience against the industry. A “credit ex mod” means your experience is better than your peers, while a “debit mod” means you’ve had some claims. It’s important to note that any claim you have will impact your ex mod for three years.
- Claims – Statistics prove claims reported in the first 24 hours of the injury are settled 59% faster and with dramatically lower costs. Here’s a hint: Most insurance companies are in no hurry to close work comp claims. The longer they stay open, the longer your ex mod factor will remain high. It would be best to work with an insurance partner who understands this and can get claims closed.
- Lead exposure – Believe it or not, proper lead handling/cleaning training and removal procedures are the first questions SAGE considers when underwriting a firing range. Ranges with proven comprehensive safety training procedures, utilize proper PPE’s, and work with certified lead management companies, like MT2 Firing Range Services, receive additional pricing discounts. Lead is no joke and can have a significant impact on your employee’s and public’s safety, which can hurt your business today and for years to come.
- Final audits – At the end of your work comp policy, you’ll be asked to verify your actual payrolls for the year. The biggest issue many gun ranges face at the audit is the payroll allocation for employees who work in retail vs. range employees, and it gets messy. Although the rules can vary by state, in most cases, an auditor will put the payroll of a retail employee in the range classification if that employee ever steps foot in the range. Like most ranges, an employee will spend time behind the counter and on the range as an RSO or cleaning. You must keep exact payroll breakdowns so that you can make a case for split payroll. Again, you are most likely dealing with an insurance company/state that doesn’t know how ranges operate or don’t care.
- Premium payments – Once the premium is established, the insurance company will set the payment terms for the premium. These terms typically range from 100 percent down, 50 percent down with one installment, 35 percent down with three payments, or 25 percent down with five payments. Many shooting sports businesses, more than 80 percent, are insured with state funds/NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance) or assigned-risk pools. The payment plans for these policies often require larger down payments and fewer payments for the balance. This has a real effect on the cash flow of a business. If your policy is on installments, your premium payments will remain the same regardless of payroll fluctuations unless you contact your insurance agent or the company. For businesses that have seasonal operations or shifts in payroll over the year—outdoor ranges, for instance—having the ability to pay based on actual payroll is a very attractive option. This type of payment plan, offered by only a few insurance companies, is known as “payroll reporting.”
SAGE offers payroll reporting and other payment options, including a zero deposit plan.
- Knowledge of the industry – You must work with an insurance agent or company that understands the shooting sports industry. Many things can go wrong that can leave you holding the bag. A low price might look good but take the time to investigate the company and coverage behind the policy.
About SAGE Program Underwriters
SAGE Program Underwriters is a leading national insurance organization that creates insurance programs for industries often neglected by the insurance community. SAGE has been proudly providing workers’ compensation to ranges, retailers, and manufacturers since 2007 and is a member of NSSF®, a Gold Sponsor of SHOT University, and a Partner Organization of Project ChildSafe®. To learn more about SAGE, visit our website at https://www.sageuw.com/ or email us firstname.lastname@example.org