The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) launched its Other States Coverage Program in March 2016, and many agents breathed a sigh of relief.
This made me incredibly happy too, as this was a big problem for many Ohio employers, resulting in lots of headaches for agents.
While BWC generally provides coverage for employees working temporarily outside of Ohio, problems can arise when injured employees file their claims in a state that does not recognize BWC’s coverage.
This leads to complications, including delayed treatment for the injured employees and penalties for their employers from the state in which the claim was filed.
To make matters even more confusing, some states require Ohio employers to obtain workers' compensation coverage in their state (in addition to BWC's coverage) for any work performed by their employees in that state, regardless of how brief they’re there.
Ohio’s border states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Kentucky do not recognize Ohio BWC coverage.
West Virginia recognizes BWC coverage "for a period not exceeding 30 calendar days in any 365-day period."
Indiana will respect Ohio’s jurisdiction, and does not limit it to a certain amount of days. However, this provision is for employees who are Ohio residents and only temporarily in Indiana.
What a confusing mess.
But guess what?
You can be part of the solution for your commercial clients who face financial exposures while working outside Ohio.
While Ohio employers can access BWC’s Other States Coverage program on their own through BWC, many already are (or will likely) turn to agents for expert advice and help in managing out-of-state-work risks.
When this happens, you can find the best solution for your clients’ needs – whether through a private carrier, state-assigned risk pool or BWC’s Other States Coverage program.
And if you do choose BWC’s program, you can receive an Application Services Fee of $50 for each policy placed in BWC’s other states coverage program (both new and on renewal).
I reached out to Kendra DePaul, manager of BWC’s Other States Coverage program, who indicated the program continues to grow.
At the one-year mark, the program had $1,174,753 in written premium.
As of July 06, 2018, there are 416 active policies with a total premium volume of $4,272,197.
Additionally, $9,150 has been paid in fees to agents on 183 policies.
While I had her ear, I asked Kendra to share some of the most common questions that she receives from agents and employers.
Can I endorse the policy for additional insured?
BWC’s Other States Coverage offering does not offer an endorsement for additional insured.
Adding a named insured is only allowed on a workers’ compensation policy if there is common ownership between the entities.
A completed ERM-14 is required for any additional insured.
Can a waiver of subrogation be added?
An endorsement is available in most states to waive subrogation rights.
In some states there is a charge to add the waiver.
Can permanent out-of-state operations be covered through BWC’s Other States Coverage Program?
Yes. Coverage is available for both temporary and permanent locations as long as they meet the eligibility requirements (business is headquartered or primarily located in Ohio, they maintain active coverage with BWC, 2/3 of their payroll is in Ohio, etc.).
When filling out the ACORD 130, please explain the specific business situation in the Nature of Business/Description of Operations section.
Does the application have to be signed? Can we have the employer sign it later?
A signature is required on the ACORD 130 before we can complete a quote.
The signature on the application is what gives us permission to pull the employers Ohio’s BWC-specific information to use in the underwriting process.
Interested in learning more about BWC’s Other States Coverage Program?
Check out the Other States Coverage Fall 2017 Newsletter or visit OIA’s Other States Coverage resource page to access webinars, agent FAQs, a customizable letter to inform clients of their exposure, and more.