Gulfshore Insurance > Gulfshore Blog > John Keller > Most Churches are Missing These Two Easy State-Required Insurance Credits and This Bonus Credit

The last five churches in a row I’ve talked to have been missing some of the easiest insurance credits available. Workers Compensation (WC) usually isn’t a big expense for churches, but if you can save money by applying automatic state-approved credits, you should take it. While the state of Florida dictates the rates all WC insurance companies must charge, it also allows for two line-item credits. When you qualify, which is very easy to do, the insurance carriers are required to apply the credits.

These credits are (1) a 2% Safety Credit for maintaining a safety program and (2) a 5% Drug Free Workplace Credit (DFW). To qualify for these credits, the church simply needs to maintain a written program that applies to each topic.

When it comes to a written safety program, the document doesn’t have to be elaborate. As long as it contains procedures for safe work activities and documenting accidents, the 2% credit is easy. Written safety plans that qualify for the safety credit should be customized for your organization by your insurance agent in order to take the burden off administrative staff from creating a safety program from scratch. To have the credit applied, your insurance carrier will ask you to sign a one-page credit application, and the 2% credit will be endorsed to your policy.

The drug free credit isn’t much different in terms of its requirement or application. To qualify, the church must maintain a written document that outlines when drug testing will be performed. To qualify for the credit, the only testing that is required is pre-employment and post-accident. Random testing is not required. Again, the written DFW procedures should be supplied by your insurance agency and customized for your operations. To have the credit applied, your carrier will require another one-page credit application. Based on the hiring rates and accident rates of churches, the 5% credit usually far outweighs the cost of running the required tests.

Click here to request written Safety and DFW programs, customized for your church.

Both the safety and DFW credits can be applied to your policy at any point during the year. You do not have to wait until your policy renews to apply the credits. Whenever the credit applications are received by the insurance carrier, they will endorse the policy and prorate the credits. This 7% total credit is entirely in your control.

*The bonus credit comes in the form of discretionary dividends from the insurance carrier. This is how insurance companies compete against each other in Florida. Some carriers require you have no claims for the year before they will credit you back a percentage of your premium. Depending on how much premium you pay, the dividend credit can vary; the more premium, the higher the potential dividend. However, some carriers will apply a flat percentage credit (usually 5% or 10%) regardless of your claims. The carriers that offer these bonus dividend credits love working with churches and non-profit organizations, so make sure you see quotes from only those that specialize in the industry.

To view our complete risk management library of articles for churches and non-profits, click here.

John Keller, CRM ARM CIC AAI is Client Advisor & Risk Manager at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in non-profit and religious organizations. John works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at jkeller@gulfshoreinsurance.com