Roofing Companies and Workers Compensation

Safety Programs and a focus on Risk Management are crucial parts of running a successful Roofing Company

Roofing companies can be a difficult to industry for insurance companies to quote insurance coverage. There are two primary reasons why this industry is difficult to offer Workers Compensation Coverage, employees working at heights and employees who drive as a part of their job. First, roofing companies have employees who are working at heights frequently. This risk does not necessarily cause there to be an uptick in the amount of claims a business has, but the claims they do have tend to be severe in nature. The risk of employees driving as a part of their daily activity tends to raise both the frequency and severity of claims a business faces. Here are several ways to help your roofing company plan for, deal with, and improve the risk management process of your business.

Roofing Companies

Height Risks

Working at heights is a huge risk from the perspective of an insurance carrier.  This is not so much because of the quantity of claims in this industry, but more because the severity of injuries involved in a fall tend to be severe. Severe claims tend to rack up larger medical costs and result in additional time out of work for the injured worker.

Driving Risk

Any business that has employees who are driving from location to location as a part of the work has an elevated amount of workers’ compensation claims. These businesses have a higher quantity of claims and the claims tend to be more severe. Implementing a driver safety program and running regular driver background checks is a must to keep your employees and your business safe.

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Having safety as a part of your company culture is extremely. Especially in more risk adverse industries like roofing.  A safety program should be a part of any roofing businesses risk management protocol. When implementing a safety program, the protocols should be clear and concise. Over time it should be ingrained in to the workforce for all employees new and old.  Implementing questions about safety into the hiring process may be able for you to weed out some potential employees who do not grasp the severity of the risks

Workers Compensation for Roofing Companies

Workers Compensation for Roofing Companies is an important part of any business owners responsibilities. In most states, roofing companies are required by law to carry both workers compensation and general liability insurance. For this reason, most businesses start with this required coverage. In most instances, this is not the only insurance a business should secure. Workers compensation is frequently referred to as the ‘exclusive remedy’. This term developed because the workers compensation system provides benefits to both employers and employees. Employers benefit from the fact they cannot be sued for injuries that occur as a part of normal business operations. Employees benefit in the form of medical costs and some lost wages when they are hurt and not able to work.

Because Roofing is such a risky industry, it is important for business owners in this industry to pay attention to the businesses experience modification rating. This is a rating that takes in to account; the revenue of the business, the classification code of the employees within that business, and the claims history of the business. Companies with more claims will have a higher rating and consequently have a higher rating. This also results in these businesses having a higher rate of premium for workers compensation and other forms of commercial insurance. The best way to keep this rating low is to implement a safety program that includes driver safety protocols and an in-depth return to work program.

Pay as You Go Workers Compensation Insurance

A roofing company may be in an industry that can benefit from Pay as You Go Workers Compensation. Pay as You Go allows employers to get coverage in place at a much lower amount compared to a traditional workers comp policy. This alternative payment program also reduces the likelihood of a mid-term audit because the payroll is audited monthly instead of done as an estimate at the beginning of the term. Being audited mid-term is time consuming and costly for the business.

Return to Work

Another important part of the workers’ compensation system for businesses in more risk adverse industries like roofing is to have an effective return to work program.  If you work in a physical environment like the roofing industry, injuries are eventually going to happen. Many studies have shown the quicker an employee gets back on the job, even in a limited capacity, the less likely they are to wind up on long term disability. This prevents claims from getting out of control and having a negative impact on the businesses experience modification rating.

Classification Codes

Like many industries roofing has more than one industry classification code.  It is important for you as a business owner to spend some time with your insurance agent discussing exactly what you do and do not partake in as a part of your business. Making sure that your business is properly classified can have a dramatic effect on the amount you pay for workers’ compensation insurance.

Below is a list of classification codes commonly used by businesses in the roofing industry.

5551 Roofing- All Types. This is the standard classification for most roofing contractors. It covers contractors who perform installation and repair of new and existing roofs on residential and commercial properties. Work may include flat, sloped, and builtup roofs and may include the installation or repair of joists, trusses, rafters, decks, sheathing, etc. Materials utilized may include shingles, metals, hot tar, composite materials, concrete aggregates, slate, tile, or paper.
8227 Construction Yard. Larger roofing companies who maintain a permanent facility or yard for material storage and maintenance of equipment may often utilize this classification on their policy for employees exclusively dedicated to the facility or yard.
5645 Residential Construction. When roofing installation is performed in conjunction with the construction of a residential dwelling by employees of the same general contractor then roofing may be applicable to this code. Applies only to residential construction under 3 stories.


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