Any workplace with employees, and especially workplaces requiring physical labor, have a risk of accidents occurring onsite. When accidents happen, lawsuits can be brought against your business. While there are many measures you can take to create a safe workplace, if your business has a chance of an accident occurring, you need a plan on how your business is going to cover costs when a lawsuit arises. Employers liability insurance provides financial protection for businesses in these situations. In the following sections, we’ll detail how the policies work, what they cover, and how much they cost. Finally, we’ll review the top employers liability insurance providers, including the following:
- The Hartford offers the best overall employers liability insurance
- Receives few complaints from existing customers
- Has positive financial strength ratings from AM Best, S&P, and Moody’s
Try The Hartford
Understanding Employers Liability Insurance
Every business needs to be prepared for the worst. Whether it’s fire, theft, or a lawsuit, having the right commercial insurance can protect a company from financial ruin. While most business owners are familiar with common policies like commercial auto insurance, professional liability insurance (also known as errors and omissions insurance), business owners policies, and commercial property insurance, many are unaware of the importance of employers liability coverage.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 3 million employment-related injuries occur each year. Industries with the highest rates of on-the-job injuries and illnesses include nursing, material and stock moving, truck driving, and maintenance. Furthermore, there are nearly 5,000 fatal work-related injuries in the United States each year. Even though not all accidents result in legal action, those that do can significantly impact a business’s financial stability. Employers liability insurance provides protection against these potential risks.
What Is Employers Liability Insurance?
Employers liability insurance is a type of business insurance coverage that covers costs arising from a lawsuit due to a workplace accident. This coverage is often included within a workers compensation policy.
The other component of coverage included in a workers compensation policy is workers compensation insurance. This helps businesses cover an employee’s medical costs and missed income as a result of an injury or illness that occurred while on the job. Workers compensation insurance is required by law in most states and for most businesses.
Employers liability insurance also helps fill in the gap of coverage provided by a general liability insurance policy, which usually only provides coverage when injuries or damages are incurred by a third party, such as a customer.
While employers liability coverage is most commonly included in a workers compensation policy, this may vary based on your state. Some states offer competitive insurance funds, meaning that you can choose to purchase workers compensation insurance from a state fund, or a private insurer that better suits your needs.
Conversely, some states, known as monopolistic states, require that businesses purchase workers compensation insurance from a state fund. Coverage offered by state funds do not include employers liability coverage, meaning that employers liability insurance must be purchased elsewhere as a separate policy. The four monopolistic states are North Dakota, Ohio, Wyoming, and Washington. In these states, employers liability coverage can be purchased as a standalone policy, or purchased as an extension to a general liability insurance policy.
How Does Employers Liability Insurance Work?
In most cases in which an employee is injured on the job, workers compensation insurance will pay out an unlimited amount equal to the employee’s expenses incurred due to the injury. It is not necessary to determine if the business owner is at fault in order to qualify for workers compensation benefits. Note that workers compensation differs from disability insurance, which primarily covers incidents that occur outside of work.
The payout may not come in one lump sum, however. In most cases, it will be paid out in the form of a weekly wage, on a schedule determined by your salary. This wage has a maximum limit determined by your state. However, if you can opt for a lump sum and choose to do so, you waive your right to reopen the case if your condition worsens and will be responsible for potential medical expenses in the future. Either way, the payout can include lost wages, medical costs, disability payments, and even death benefits to the employee’s family in circumstances where a workplace accident leads to death.
In cases where an employee, or an employee’s family, does not feel that the compensation paid out was adequate, they can sue for additional damages. This often occurs when the employee or their family feels that the employer was negligent and at fault for the injury. In these cases, employers liability insurance will cover the costs related to the lawsuit.
Even if an employee does not bring a legitimate case against your workplace, any lawsuit can be costly. This is why all businesses should consider an employers liability insurance policy. However, it is also important to keep in mind that unlike workers compensation insurance, employers liability insurance does have a policy limit, even if it is purchased within the same policy as your workers compensation insurance.
Premiums and Deductibles
The cost of your monthly premium will vary depending on the policy limit you select for employers liability coverage. Additionally, the billing schedule for your premium will vary depending on your provider. Some providers offer a monthly payment schedule, which can be beneficial to small businesses or new businesses working to get established. Other providers may bill annually or bi-annually for employers liability insurance or a workers compensation policy.
Your deductible will also vary depending on the insurance provider you choose. Usually, your insurance providers will reduce the claims payment you receive by the amount of your deductible.
Basic limits for employers liability coverage are:
- $100,000 per occurrence for bodily injury: This is a per-claim limit, meaning that this is the maximum amount they will pay for this item within a given incident, within no limit to the amount of times they will pay this amount for a policy period (usually one year).
- $100,000 per employee for bodily injury by disease: This is also a per-claim limit.
- $500,000 aggregate for bodily injury by disease: This aggregate limit pairs with the per-claim limit for bodily injury by disease above. This means that assuming each claim reaches the $100,000 limit, they will only cover five claims related to bodily injury by disease per policy period.
Your insurance provider may also include sublimits within your policy, meaning that they will only cover up to a certain amount for a specific cost, such as legal defense, settlement, or punitive damages. Be sure to review all of the limits outlined in your policy to fully understand where you may or may not be adequately covered.
You may be able to increase any of these limits for a higher premium. Keep in mind that in New York and Massachusetts, employers liability coverage is unlimited, so the standard policy limits outlined above would not apply.
Duty to Defend
When you purchase any type of liability insurance, your provider may have a duty to defend you if anything outlined in the lawsuit is even potentially covered by your policy. This is often a major benefit of liability insurance because of the high costs associated with litigation, and because your business and the insurer share a common interest in the lawsuit. However, if a conflict of interest occurs between you and the insurer, you may want to seek independent counsel. You have the right to do so if you can prove that the insurer might benefit from providing a lower quality defense to your business.
If your insurer does not have a duty to defend, you will be responsible for getting your own legal representation. The costs for this will be reimbursed by your insurer up to the policy limit outlined in your contract.
Sometimes, an injury that occurs during your coverage period may not be reported until much later. Lawsuits may even be brought against your business for injuries that occurred years before. Tail coverage, also known as extended reporting period coverage, protects your business by providing coverage for lawsuits that arise after your policy period ends. This coverage is often available for many different types of business insurance, and some providers may include this as an optional extension to an employers liability policy.
What Does Employers Liability Insurance Cover?
If an employee feels that negligence on the part of your business was the cause for their workplace injury or illness, they can sue for punitive damages such as pain and suffering. However, pain and suffering are not covered as part of workers compensation insurance, which only covers economic damages. Employers liability insurance covers a business’s legal defense costs if an employee sues for noneconomic or punitive damages. Continue reading to learn more about exactly what costs are covered by this type of policy.
Types of Claims Covered
Gross negligence is the most common type of lawsuit covered by employers liability insurance. Often, the employee will sue for negligence if they feel the business failed to use reasonable care, which led to the injury.
If an employee sues a third party as a result of a workplace injury, that third party can, in turn, sue your business. For example, if an employee gets injured while using a piece of machinery, they may sue the manufacturer of the equipment and claim that their equipment was dangerous and led to the injury. That manufacturer can then sue your business, claiming that it was your workplace’s lack of adequate training and safety procedures that led to the injury.
Similarly, if an employee gets injured or contracts an illness as a result of the property on which their workplace is located, they may sue the property owner or landlord of the business. The property owner may then sue the business, claiming that their lack of required maintenance as a tenant led to the injury or illness, rather than negligence by the property owner.
Loss of Consortium Lawsuits
Consortium refers to the right of companionship with a spouse or loved one. When an employee is killed on the job, severely injured, or becomes seriously ill, to the extent that the quality of the relationship, or the ability of the employee to provide for their family, is permanently altered, a loved one may sue for loss of consortium. A loss of consortium lawsuit does not have an easily determined monetary amount, so the damages are up to the discretion of the judge.
In cases in which the relationship between the employer and employee is more complex, dual-capacity lawsuits may occur. For example, when an employer is also the employee’s landlord or the manufacturer of a product, the employee may sue the employer based on that relationship, in addition to the employer/employee relationship.
Consequential injuries are secondary injuries that happen to a non-employee as a result of a workplace accident or illness. Most commonly, this occurs when a relative gets injured while acting as a caretaker for the injured employee.
Rejected Workers Compensation
In some states, employees can opt out of workers compensation. This gives the employee the ability to sue for damages incurred as a result of an injury or illness that occurs while on the job, that would otherwise be covered by workers compensation.
Types of Fees Covered
When a covered lawsuit occurs, such as the ones described above, there are several different types of expenses and fees that might be covered by an employers liability policy.
- Legal Fees: Court fees and legal fees that result from any of the above lawsuits would not be covered by workers compensation insurance. However, employers liability insurance covers legal fees and court fees relating to any lawsuit from a workplace injury. Most commonly, legal fees refer to the fees paid to an attorney. Court fees are those required for document processing within the court system.
- Damages: When a court rules in favor of the employee or third party in any of the lawsuits covered by employers liability insurance, a judge will rule on the damages that the party will receive. The most common rulings are damages for pain and suffering, or for negligence on the part of the employer. Employers liability insurance covers these damages. The exact amount covered is determined by the policy you purchase. Employers can choose to receive more coverage at the expense of higher premiums.
- Settlements: While it is common for lawsuits to end when damages are paid out, a settlement can be reached out of court. This eliminates the need for a trial and potentially saves time and money from legal fees. Employers liability insurance covers the amount due when a settlement is reached, up to the policy limit.
What’s Not Covered by Employers Liability Policies?
Employers liability insurance is designed to protect your business in the event of an injury, but not all circumstances in which an injury occurs will be covered by this type of policy. Read below to learn when you might not be covered, and what additional insurance coverage you might need to keep your business protected when a lawsuit occurs.
If it is discovered that the employer intentionally caused an injury to the employee in the workplace, they will not be protected by employers liability insurance. Likewise, if the injury is intentionally self-inflicted, neither workers compensation nor employers liability insurance will apply.
Psychological injuries, such as “mental injury, mental anguish, or shock that results in an identifiable psychiatric injury,” is not included within the term “bodily injury.” Unless both of these categories are included in your policy, lawsuits resulting from psychological injuries sustained in the workplace would not be covered. In these cases, an employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policy would offer more protection.
However, if a mental injury occurs as a result of a physical injury sustained in the workplace, this would be covered as a consequential injury lawsuit.
Injuries Outside of the U.S. and Canada
If an injury occurs outside of the U.S or Canada, losses and damages from this injury would not be covered by employers liability. However, there is an exception to this rule. If an employee is injured while temporarily out of the country, this injury would be covered.
For example, if a corporation with global operations employs workers in Germany, and one of those employees experiences an injury, resulting lawsuits would not be covered. However, if an employee employed in the U.S. travels to visit a location in Germany and suffers an injury, resulting lawsuits from that injury would be covered.
Injuries to Illegally Employed Workers
If an employee is working illegally, and the employer is aware of this, the company will not be protected from lawsuits resulting from bodily injury sustained by that illegally-employed individual. This means that the employer will be required to cover any damages on their own without coverage from an employers liability insurance policy. However, if an employee is employed illegally without the employer’s knowledge, the employer may still be afforded some protections.
Individuals Covered Under Federal Law
When a federal law covers an individual under a specific type of protection, losses incurred as a result of a bodily injury will not be covered by employers liability coverage. Instead, these types of losses require a specific type of policy.
For example, the Defense Base Act provides benefits to individuals injured in U.S. government agencies and military bases, so lawsuits resulting from these injuries would not be covered under employers liability coverage.
Wrongful Acts in the Workplace
Employers are not protected by an employers liability insurance policy when lawsuits arise from discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, or other wrongful acts that result in a lawsuit. Instead, these lawsuits would be covered by an employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policy.
Employers Liability Insurance Requirements
Any business with employees should have both workers compensation and employers liability coverage. In most states and most industries, workers compensation policies are required by law for any business that has more than two employees. Unless your business is excluded from these laws, you’ll need a policy. Even if you are not legally required to have either of these policies, it might still be a good idea to consider purchasing them.
Texas is the only state in the US that does not require workers compensation insurance for private employers. This can make your business more likely to experience a lawsuit when a workplace injury occurs, as there are no coverages or benefits automatically offered to the injured employee.
New York requires workers compensation for almost all businesses in the state with one or more employees. Coverage can be purchased through a private insurer, the NY State Insurance Fund, or self-insurance.
California employers with one or more employees are also required to have workers compensation insurance, and this state also requires a minimum policy limit of $100,000 per occurrence, $100,000 per employee, and $500,000 for the policy period.
North Dakota, Wyoming, Ohio, and Washington-the four monopolistic states-require workers compensation insurance, and also require businesses to purchase this coverage through the state insurance fund. Employers liability, or stop gap coverage, is not required in the states, but can still be beneficial to business owners.
Specific workers compensation laws, including what businesses are required to carry this policy, how much coverage is required, and whether you must purchase it from a state fund can vary from state to state. Before purchasing any workers compensation or employers liability policy, be sure to review your state’s specific laws to ensure that you comply.
What Businesses Need an Employers Liability Policy?
In most states, your employers liability insurance will be included with workers compensation insurance. In the four monopolistic states, you’ll be required to purchase your workers compensation insurance from a state fund. State funds for workers compensation insurance do not include employers liability coverage to protect your business when a lawsuit occurs, so you’ll have to find that coverage separately through a private insurer. You might find employers liability insurance as a standalone policy, or as an add-on to another type of business insurance, such as a general liability policy.
Sole proprietors with no employees are usually not required to purchase workers compensation or employers liability insurance policies. However, a sole proprietor with no employees might benefit from a voluntary workers compensation policy in a few cases. If the owner of the sole proprietorship sustains an injury in the workplace, they can be covered by workers compensation.
Additionally, if a sole proprietor hires contractors, workers compensation also applies to these workers in most states. It is possible for a contractor to sue a sole proprietor as a result of a workplace injury, even if they are not W-2 employees. In this case, an employers liability insurance policy would cover legal expenses and damages.
Employers Liability Insurance Limits
Most states which require workers compensation and/or employers liability coverage also have a minimum required coverage limit within their state. However, business owners also have the option to purchase additional coverage beyond the required limit if necessary, which will require a slightly more expensive premium. Each provider will have policy limits, premiums, and deductibles clearly stated within the policy agreement.
In most states, these are the legal minimum limits for employers liability coverage:
- $100,000 for bodily injuries (per occurrence)
- $100,000 for bodily injury by occupational disease (per employee)
- $500,000 for bodily injuries by disease (per policy period)
For larger businesses with many employees or higher risk occupations, some providers offer limits up to $5 million for each coverage component.
Determining the Right Amount of Coverage
To determine the right amount of coverage for your business, consider your industry and the types of workers that you employ. For a business that operates in an office setting, employee injuries are uncommon. In contrast, an electrical company that employs workers in a more dangerous occupation and a variety of settings is more likely to experience workplace injuries. Additionally, in more dangerous occupations, workers are usually compensated as such, meaning that the damages brought against your business are likely to be higher.
These factors are also evaluated by the insurance provider, meaning that coverage for businesses in higher-risk industries will likely be more expensive, as these businesses are more likely to file expensive claims.
Employers Liability Compared to Other Policies
There are several different insurance policies that can protect businesses in the event of a lawsuit. However, each one covers slightly different scenarios, so it can be difficult to tell them apart. Below, we’ve compared employers liability insurance to similar policies and explained the difference between each.
In addition to each of the policies listed below, employers also have the option to purchase a commercial umbrella policy. This type of policy provides coverage where standard policy limits are not sufficient to cover your costs. For companies that operate in notoriously dangerous fields or carry exceptionally costly payrolls, an insurance provider might advise a commercial umbrella policy. This policy will cover damages above the limits purchased under their other policies. This policy is only used when there is a shortfall in one of your other policies. An umbrella policy typically only costs an additional few hundred dollars per year and is prudent for companies that may be unsure if their current policy is adequate.
Employers Liability vs. General Liability Insurance
Like employers liability insurance, general liability insurance can also protect the employer from claims of bodily injury at the workplace. General liability insurance, however, is a much more broad coverage. It protects the employer when a customer or other third party sues for bodily injury (this contrasts with employers liability which protects from when an employee sues). Additionally, general liability insurance protects your business from lawsuits regarding damage to customers’ personal property, lawsuits from damaged reputations, copyright infringement claims, and damage to property rented by the business. A business should have both policies to protect itself from all possible lawsuits and damages that may arise as a result of normal business operations.
Employers Liability Insurance vs. Workers Compensation
As mentioned above, employers liability and workers compensation insurance are most often two parts of the same policy and are purchased together, except for a few states. That said, people are often confused around the concept of employers liability vs. workers comp. Workers compensation refers to the payments paid when a worker is injured on the job. This covers medical expenses and loss of income and is paid to the employee. Employers liability insurance covers certain cases where an injured employee sues their employer and seeks additional damages. This is typically due to employer negligence or several other scenarios, highlighted above. In monopolistic states, workers compensation is purchased from a state fund and employers liability insurance is purchased as “stop gap insurance.”
Employers Liability vs. Employment Practices Liability Insurance
Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) covers lawsuits resulting from improper business practices on the part of the employer. This differs from employers liability insurance, which only covers damages relating to injuries and illnesses that occur at the workplace. In contrast, EPLI covers lawsuits from sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, breach of contract, and a whole host of other unsavory business practices. Employers should hold both of these types of policies.
In the era of the Great Resignation, employees are holding their employers to a higher standard. While the number of charges filed with the EEOC in 2021 was down over previous years, charges for retaliation amounted to 56% of all claims. This has been steadily increasing each year; ten years ago, in 2011, retaliation charges only accounted for 37.4% of all charges filed. This may indicate that employees are more inclined to file charges that they may not have felt comfortable filing previously.
Employer vs. Employee Liability Insurance
Employee liabilities and indemnity insurance is a type of coverage that safeguards employees from legal action taken against them for errors made in the course of their work. This coverage is distinct from employers liability insurance, which protects the employer from lawsuits filed by employees.
Employers Liability Insurance Costs & Premiums
A major factor in deciding whether to purchase an insurance policy for your business is whether it fits into your budget. Below, we discuss how much employers liability insurance usually costs, and some factors that may increase or decrease the cost of your premium.
How Much Does Employers Liability Insurance Cost?
The cost of employers liability insurance will vary depending on how much coverage you need. The cost may also vary depending on how you purchase the coverage. For example, purchasing it with a workers compensation policy, or as an add-on to a general liability insurance policy may be more affordable than purchasing it as a standalone policy. This is because insurance providers usually offer discounts for bundling multiple policies.
According to The Hartford, customers with payrolls under $300,000 annually paid an average of $70 per month for workers compensation insurance. However, if you are in a monopolistic state, you might be purchasing employers liability as an endorsement on a general liability policy instead. For small businesses, the cost of a general liability insurance policy can be as low as $30 per month. Adding an employers liability endorsement to one of these policies would increase the premium by a small amount.
Factors That Affect Employers Liability Policy Premiums
There are a variety of factors that may impact the cost of your premium for employers liability insurance. Below, we’ve detailed some of the most relevant factors that insurance providers consider when pricing your policy.
The industry in which your business operates heavily impacts the cost of employers liability insurance. Factories, manufacturers, and trade injuries are at a higher risk of workplace injuries and are much more likely to file a claim. If you operate in one of these high-risk industries, expect to pay more for the same amount of coverage.
In addition to your industry, the cost of your employees’ salaries will also play into the cost of both workers compensation insurance and employers liability insurance. For example, if an employee with a high income becomes severely injured on the job, workers compensation may cover their income losses. However, a loved one may sue for additional damages if that employee loses their ability to continue earning their previous income and providing for their family. This will likely be a more costly lawsuit when it involves a high-income earner.
Even if your business does not have high-income earners on the payroll and does not employ workers in a high-risk industry, your premium will still be based on the size of your payroll. All else being equal, as payroll size increases, the insurance company takes on more risk.
History of Claims
If your business has a history of filing workers compensation and employers liability claims, even if you are getting a quote from a new provider, this history will influence your premium. Claims history is shared information between insurance providers. A history of claims communicates to the insurance provider that you are likely to file claims in the future. Additionally, continued claims may increase your premium with the same provider as you renew your policy each year.
If your business has implemented safety protocols in the workplace to prevent injuries from occurring, this may encourage some providers to lower your premiums. If your business prioritizes safety protocol, it is a good idea to go with an insurance provider that evaluates this information and offers corresponding discounts.
Finding the Best Employers Liability Insurance
Lawsuits can be very costly, especially for a small business, so ensuring that you have the best employers liability coverage possible will help your business continue operating even if lawsuits and damages need to be paid. Below are several items to consider when you are evaluating employers liability insurance providers for your business.
Policy Limits & Coverage Options
Employers liability policy limits can vary depending on the size of the business. Moreover, some insurance providers may be more suited to provide coverage to small businesses, while others may specialize in business insurance coverage for large companies and corporations. As such, the coverage options, including extensions, covered expenses, and other features may be specialized to the business sizes that they often covered.
Standard policy limits are broken up by type. Some limits are per-claim, meaning that the limit only applies to each individual claim. Other per-claim limits are paired with an aggregate limit, which means that there is a limit for each claim in that category, as well as an overall limit to how much will be covered in that category within the policy period.
In addition to the overall limits, insurance providers may also include sub-limits for different categories of expenses that might be covered. Together these limits and sub-limits determine how well your business will be protected in the event of a lawsuit.
Another coverage feature to consider is whether lawsuits related to COVID-19 will be covered by your insurance provider. This is a possibility if an employee contracts COVID on the job, and experiences long-term symptoms or illness. It may be a good idea to ask your provider whether these types of lawsuits will fall under employers liability coverage.
Claims Handling & Legal Defense
Depending on your state’s laws and your policy terms, your insurance provider may represent you in any lawsuit that is covered by your insurance. This is called a duty-to-defend policy, and it means that the insurer will assign a lawyer to represent your company in the lawsuit. This also provides the insurance company with the discretion as to whether to go to court or reach a settlement.
Another type of policy you might encounter is a reimbursement policy. In this type of policy, there will usually be no duty to defend. You will pay for legal costs out of pocket, and be reimbursed for those expenses by your insurer, up to the policy limit.
If your company already has legal counsel that you would prefer to represent you in court, ensure that you purchase coverage from a company that allows you to choose your own lawyer and continue to receive coverage. This may also be subject to your state’s laws as well. On the other hand, small businesses with limited capital and resources might prefer a duty-to-defend policy to guarantee that they will have representation if a lawsuit occurs.
Premiums & Deductibles
Of course, the cost of your policy is a very important factor when purchasing any insurance policy. It is important that the benefit of protection if an incident occurs, outweighs the cost of the premium that you are paying on a monthly or yearly basis. When considering an employers liability policy, compare premiums and deductibles from multiple companies. Also, look at what coverage is offered by each company to find the policy with the best value, or the one best suited for your specific business size or industry.
Customer Service & Financial Strength
When one of your employees experiences an injury, you will want an insurance provider that will be there for you when you need it most. Two primary indicators of a company’s reliability are its customer service reputation and financial strength.
Financial strength ratings are an important indicator of the company’s stability, as well as its ability to pay claims. Some examples of reliable financial strength ratings include AM Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s. An A+ financial strength rating from AM Best, for example, means that the company has a superior ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations. A BBB rating from Standard & Poor’s, on the other hand, means the company has “adequate capacity to meet financial commitments, but more subject to adverse economic conditions.” The scales vary between organizations but typically range from A to D in some form.
There are several ways to find out an insurance provider’s reputation. First, a Google search may produce some third-party reviews that will give you insight into experiences that others have had. Never rely solely on reviews a company displays on its own website. These reviews can often be selectively chosen to highlight the best ones.
The NAIC, or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, offers a variety of reports on insurance companies, including a complaint code index. This quantifies an insurance company’s performance in comparison to the rest of the market by evaluating its share of total complaints relative to its market share.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a great resource for finding information on a company’s reputation. If a company is BBB Accredited, this means that they meet the standards set forth by this agency. These standards include building trust, advertising honestly, being transparent, and safeguarding privacy. The BBB also provides ratings for businesses, regardless of their accreditation status. These ratings are based on the history of complaints, time in business, advertising issues, and more. You can read customer reviews and complaints filed with the BBB about insurance companies that you might be considering.
Best Employers Liability Insurance Companies Overall
The Hartford (Best Employers Liability Coverage Overall)
While The Hartford offers employers liability coverage within their workers compensation insurance, they also offer it as an endorsement on a general liability policy for businesses in monopolistic states.
- Provides employers liability coverage options for businesses in monopolistic and non-monopolistic states
- Positive financial strength ratings from AM Best, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s
- NAIC Complaint Index lower than the national average
- Negative customer reviews on Better Business Bureau
The Hartford Insurance Company is a well-established insurance provider with a history spanning 200 years. It began as a fire insurance provider in 1800, and today it is a Fortune 500 company with a variety of insurance offerings-perhaps best known for its auto insurance partnership with AARP. The Hartford’s long history indicates that the company is likely to continue its reputation as a stable and dependable insurance provider.
In addition to offering a stop gap endorsement, The Hartford’s general liability policy will protect your business in the event of bodily injuries sustained by customers or other third parties, property damage, reputational harm, advertising injuries, and more. This is valuable coverage for businesses to have, and a stop gap endorsement can make it even more worthwhile.
The Hartford allows you to report a claim at any time online or over the phone, and also provides the option to track the status of your claim online. Another noteworthy perk of looking into The Hartford is that they allow you to get a quote online-a convenient feature for most business owners-and one that many of its competitors do not offer.
The Hartford earned the following financial ratings, along with a stable credit rating outlook:
- A+ financial rating from AM Best, indicating “excellent ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations.” The “+” indicates a higher grade within that category.
- A+ rating from Standard & Poor’s, indicating “strong capacity to meet financial commitments, but somewhat susceptible to economic conditions and changes in circumstances.” The “+” indicates a higher grade within that category.
- A1 rating from Moody’s, indicating that they found The Hartford to be “considered upper medium-grade and are subject to low credit risk.” The number “1” indicates a ranking in the higher end of the given category.
According to the NAIC, Hartford Casualty Insurance Company earned a complaint index of 0.44 for all policy types, and a complaint index of .84 for commercial liability policies. Both of these numbers indicate that the rate of reported complaints for The Hartford is significantly below average given the company’s size.
We recommend The Hartford as having the Best Employers Liability Insurance Overall due to its flexible policy offerings, as well as its strong financial ratings and customer reputation.
The Hanover Insurance Group (Runner-Up)
In addition to their standard workers compensation policy that includes employers liability coverage, The Hanover Insurance Group offers an endorsement that includes employers liability stop gap coverage for businesses that have operations in one of the four monopolistic states: Ohio, North Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming.
- Coverage for a variety of businesses in monopolistic states
- Good financial ratings from AM Best, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s
- BBB Accredited with an A+ rating
- No option to get a quote online; interested customers must contact an agent for a quote
In 1852, The Hanover Fire Insurance Company was established in New York. The company then expanded its insurance policy offerings beyond fire insurance in 1911, and later updated its name to The Hanover Insurance Group to better reflect its diversity of products. Today, The Hanover Insurance Group is headquartered in Worcester, MA, and its 170-year history indicates a stable and well-established insurance provider.
The Hanover allows customers to report claims online, on the mobile app, or call the 24/7 claims phone number. However, you must contact an agent to get a quote.
The Hanover Insurance Group earned the following financial strength ratings:
- A rating from AM. Best, indicating an “excellent ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations.”
- A rating from Standard & Poor’s, indicating a “strong capacity to meet financial commitments, but somewhat susceptible to economic conditions and changes in circumstances.”
- A2 rating from Moody’s, indicating they are “upper medium-grade and are subject to low credit risk” The number 2 indicates a mid-range ranking in that category.
According to the NAIC, The Hanover earned a complaint index of 0.30 for all policy types and a complaint index of 0.38 for commercial liability policies. Both of these numbers indicate that the number of reported complaints for The Hanover is far lower than for its competitors. The Hanover Insurance Group is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, with an A+ rating.
We recommend The Hanover as a Runner-Up Pick for employers liability coverage. While they offer employers liability options for a variety of businesses, their financial strength ratings are slightly lower compared to The Hartford, and they don’t allow business owners to get a quote and purchase a policy online.
World Wide Specialty Insurance (Best Standalone Policy for Staffing Agencies)
World Wide Specialty Insurance offers specialized insurance products for the staffing industry. One of the items that they offer is stop gap coverage as an endorsement on a general liability policy for businesses in monopolistic states.
- Specializing in the staffing industry
- Strong financial rating from AM Best
- Stop gap endorsement available to add to a general liability policy
- Occasionally poor customer reviews according to the Better Business Bureau
- Unable to get a quote online
World Wide Specialty Insurance is a division of Philadelphia Insurance Companies. World Wide Speciality has been in existence for 55 years serving the staffing industry. They are the American Staffing Association’s first commercial liability insurance partner. Philadelphia Insurance Companies, or PHLY, has been in existence for more than 60 years. Their headquarters are located in Bala Cynwyd, PA, and they specialize in insurance for businesses in more than 120 niche markets.
The stop gap coverage offered by World Wide specialty includes a limit per accident for “bodily injury by accident” claims. For “bodily injury by disease” claims, there is a limit per employee, as well as an overall aggregate limit. This is in line with standard stop gap endorsement limits.
World Wide Specialty’s general liability coverage protects businesses from damage committed by a contract employee while on assignment. They offer a worldwide coverage territory to businesses that are located in the U.S. That means if an employee commits damages while on assignment in another country, your business would still be protected. Additionally, their general liability insurance does not have an exclusion for third-party employers liability claims.
World Wide Specialty Insurance allows you to report a PHLY claim online or via email, phone, or fax. They do not offer online quotes; you must contact them via their website form, phone, or fax for more information on their insurance products.
Philadelphia Insurance Companies earned an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, with a stable outlook. This indicates that they have a “superior ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations,” which is the best rating of all companies reviewed in this guide.
According to the NAIC, Philadelphia Insurance Companies earned a complaint index of 0.15 for all policy types and a complaint index of 0.5 for commercial liability policies. Both of these numbers indicate that reported complaints for Philadelphia Insurance Companies are lower compared to the national index-better than many of its competitors. Philadelphia Insurance Companies is Better Business Bureau accredited, earning an A+ rating. However, BBB reports a number of low customer ratings, which is not uncommon in the insurance industry.
Because of its specialization in products for the staffing industry, a strong stop gap endorsement for general liability policies, and strong financial ratings, we recommend World Wide Specialty Insurance to staffing businesses searching for stop gap coverage.
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