We offer the following interim guidance based on what we currently know about COVID-19 and the related regulatory requirements. Please check back to this page regularly for updated information related to COVID-19 issues. This guidance may change without prior notice and is not intended to be a warranty of the issues discussed.
State-Specific COVID-19 Guidance
Will you provide payment options for premiums due?
We are aware that economic disruptions can cause financial challenges. Please review WCF's COVID-19 premium relief options here. We also have a variety of payment options available. Call your agent or WCF at (385) 351-8000 to discuss your options.
Will you cancel my policy if I cannot pay the premium for my policy when due?
We will make reasonable accommodations for policyholders to prevent cancellation of coverage for non-payment of premium during this unprecedented time. We are suspending cancellation for non-payment of premium until June 1, 2020 or longer if required by your state or if the disruption caused by COVID-19 continues for a greater period. This moratorium period is not a waiver of premium but is intended to constitute a grace period to allow your business to recover from a decline or stoppage of business due to COVID-19.
Will you charge a late fee for premium payments delayed in this current situation?
We are not charging late payment fees at this time.
How can I make payments electronically?
You can make a payment online or call our Accounting department at (385) 351-8030 or toll free at (800) 446-2667.
What if I need to renew my policy during the period affected by COVID-19?
We will provide continuation of coverage for any policy that expires during the moratorium period unless requested not to by you or your agent.
Do I continue to report payroll for employees that are receiving pay but not working while my business has suspended operations?
We expect some of our policyholders have paid, or will pay, wages to employees who are not performing work. Since there should be no exposure for workers’ compensation claims when an employee is being paid but not working, WCF is implementing a short-term policy to exclude the qualifying payroll of employees not working. Please see additional information here.
Is sick leave pay, including any pay made under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), reportable as payroll?
Yes, under the current rules we are required to include paid sick leave or paid family leave in the premium calculation. Payments for sick and FMLA pay made under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act will be excluded from the basis of premium. Please see additional information here.
If my business operations change as a result of COVID-19, will my business be reclassified to a different governing classification code for purposes of premium?
This will depend on the state where your business is located. In states where the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) is the rating organization, if the change is temporary due to COVID-19, then your primary classification will not change (ex: you were a full-service restaurant and now you are providing takeout only, you’re still a restaurant). If the change is more than operational (ex: you were a restaurant but are now a food wholesaler), then your business would be reclassified. Non-NCCI states may have different rules. Please contact your agent or underwriter for more information.
My business has allowed or required employees who are not currently classified as a clerical office employee to perform work from home due to COVID-19. Will these employees be reclassified as a clerical office employee with a lower premium rate?
The temporary interruption or suspension of normal business activities caused by COVID-19 may qualify as a change in operations. Employees’ wages when working from home performing clerical-related duties only will be assigned to 8871-Telecommuting or 8810-Clerical Office unless the current class assignment includes clerical office employees. Please see additional information here.
What safety resources are available to assist me and my employees?
WCF’s team of safety and health representatives are on hand to provide policyholders with up-to-date safety protocols and resources. We currently offer weekly safety and health seminars via Zoom video conferencing. Attendance at these seminars will be considered the same as if attending in person. Those who are currently registered will receive a Zoom link in an email to connect to their seminar(s). Some seminars have been canceled because of factors that preclude the use of Zoom. We hope this option allows our customers to continue to take advantage of our safety and health seminar services. For workplace safety assistance, please call our team of dedicated safety representatives at (385) 351-8103. Also, with a majority of employees working from home, access WCF's telecommuting safety resources here.
The following trusted and reliable resources contain up-to-date guidance and information:
- The Department of Public Health for your state will provide information specific to your area. Find a link to your state’s public health website here.
- The Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (RMCOEH) at the University of Utah provides support for the western region and is offering a free online course for employers to stay informed and prepare in the event the virus spreads. Register through their website here.
- At a national level, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidance for employers on prevention and mitigation as well as helpful information for employers on their website.
COVID-19 claims: Will workers’ compensation coverage apply if one of my employees contracts the virus?
Before WCF Insurance can determine whether a specific claim is compensable, we must conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and a review of the state of the disease at the time and place of the alleged exposure. Medical evidence is key to determining compensability in any occupational-disease claim and, in the case of COVID-19, that evidence must include the most up-to-date epidemiological information.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, meaning that it is now present throughout most of the world. As the disease spreads and more community cases emerge, the chances decrease that any given case would be compensable, as illnesses that result from exposure that is common to the general public are typically excluded from workers’ compensation coverage.
Nevertheless, there are jurisdiction-specific standards that influence compensability, including several laws that have been passed or modified recently in direct response to this pandemic. If any of your employees test positive for COVID-19, please let WCF know as soon as possible. We can help you determine whether you need to file a claim. WCF has established a taskforce of medical, legal, and claims experts that will carefully review each claim we receive. If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate your business and are committed to working with you during these difficult times. We will continue to evaluate other ways to support you, our policyholders, for the duration of this situation. Be careful out there.