VCAP® Service Frequently Asked Questions

Posted Date: Current
    

    GENERAL

  1. How do I access VCAP® Service?
    VCAP® Service rules are located in NCCI’s Basic Manual. However, all you have to do as a producer is submit an application either online through NCCI’s RMAPS® Online Application Service, by mail, or by phone. Once you submit the application for coverage under NCCI’s Workers Compensation Insurance Plan (WCIP), NCCI will process it normally. Then, RMAPS® Online Application Service will send it automatically through VCAP® Service to determine if the applicant meets a voluntary coverage provider’s preselected underwriting criteria.
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  3. Do I have to use VCAP® Service?
    VCAP® Service is a filed and approved program in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, and West Virginia. Any application for residual market coverage in these states will be processed through VCAP® Service to determine if a match can be made with a voluntary coverage provider. Subsequently, if an offer results from a match, the offer must be accepted, unless it meets the preapproved reasons for declination. See question #14 for declination explanations.
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  5. What information is provided to the VCAP® Service carriers during the match review process?
    When an applicant is matched with a VCAP® Service carrier, NCCI provides that applicant’s ACORD® 130 Form, NCCI’s Risk Profile, and NCCI’s Premium Calculator Worksheet to the matching VCAP® Service voluntary coverage provider.
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  7. Do I know before I submit an application if the client will meet a VCAP® Service carrier’s requirements?
    No. VCAP® Service carriers actively manage their criteria and change it as needed.
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    MATCHES

  9. What happens if my applicant meets the voluntary coverage provider’s preselected underwriting criteria?
    If a match is made between an applicant and one or more voluntary coverage providers, the voluntary coverage provider(s) has three business days to review the application to determine if it will make an offer of coverage. During that time, the voluntary coverage provider may contact you to request additional information.
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  11. How many matches will my client receive?
    NCCI does not have any way of predicting the number of matches that a specific employer may receive. Your client may not receive any matches, may receive only one match, or may receive multiple matches.
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  13. Will the applicant lose its effective date during the VCAP® Service process?
    No. The effective date is maintained.
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  15. What happens if my client is not matched in VCAP® Service?
    Matched employers that are not extended an offer of voluntary coverage will be assigned to a residual market assigned carrier through NCCI’s RMAPS® Online Application Service, subject to all terms, conditions, and/or eligibility requirements of NCCI’s WCIP.
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  17. I can’t wait three business days to find out if my employer will receive an offer of voluntary coverage—coverage is needed now! What do I do?
    Contact NCCI’s Assigned Risk Department and discuss with an analyst the specifics of the employer’s situation. Issues such as these will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please note that the three-business-day hold does not compromise the effective date of the coverage.
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  19. If my client does receive a match, do I have to do anything in RMAPS® Online Application Service or call NCCI?
    No. You do not need to do anything if you receive a match. However, if you receive inquiries via e-mail, fax, or phone from the VCAP® Service carrier that your client was matched with and/or NCCI, you should respond to those inquiries.
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  21. The VCAP® Service carrier that my client was matched with has requested loss runs and other information regarding my client. Do I have to cooperate?
    You are under no obligation to provide additional information. As detailed in question #3 above, NCCI provides the ACORD® 130 Form, NCCI’s Risk Profile, and NCCI’s Premium Calculator Worksheet to the matching VCAP® Service voluntary coverage provider. However, that carrier may have additional questions. Although you are under no obligation to provide this additional information, if it will help result in a voluntary offer of coverage from that provider and, therefore, keep the employer out of the residual market, possibly reducing the cost of workers compensation premium, NCCI would recommend cooperating with the carrier.
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  23. My client has been matched with two VCAP® Service carriers. Does that mean we have to wait six days?
    No. The total amount of match review time is still three days.

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    OFFERS

  25. My client has received an offer of coverage through VCAP® Service. What do I do?
    You must evaluate the offer, typically with your client, and accept or reject it. If you do not take action to either accept or reject the offer, the deposit premium will be refunded, and the employer will not be provided coverage by the VCAP® Service carrier or by a residual market carrier.
     
    If you applied online through RMAPS® Online Application Service, you must:
    • Log on to ncci.com
    • Access your RMAPS® Online Application Service work list
    • Click the application ID number for the applicant that has received the offer
    • Click Accept or Reject
     
    If you applied by mail or by phone, you must:
    • Complete the faxed form you received, indicating acceptance or rejection
    • Sign the completed form
    • Fax the form back to NCCI using the number on the form
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  27. Can an offer be rejected?
    Yes. Offers of coverage through VCAP® Service may be rejected, but only for the following reasons:
    • The voluntary total estimated annual premium is more than the assigned risk total estimated annual premium
    • The offer does not provide all of the required coverage (i.e., carrier cannot provide federal coverage or increased limits of liability)
    • A deductible or deposit is required that is a financial burden to the employer as determined by the producer and/or employer
    • The carrier’s A.M. Best financial rating status is below that required by the producer and/or employer
     
    Rejections of VCAP® Service offers are monitored and verified by NCCI. If you need to reject an offer but are unsure of which reason to choose, contact the NCCI analyst assigned to the application to discuss the issue.
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  29. Why aren’t there other reasons to reject an offer?
    Risks are ineligible for coverage in the assigned risk plan if there is a reasonable offer of voluntary coverage. “Reasonable offer of voluntary coverage” is defined in the rules of this program and have applied for several years. Because the residual market is the market of last resort, there must be a limit as to what should be eligible in order to be included in it. We have found that these reasons have effectively covered most, if not all, of the legitimate reasons for declining coverage. In addition, this is an automated function, and limiting these reasons allows NCCI to manage the VCAP® Service process effectively.
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  31. My client has received an offer that costs the same amount of premium that they would pay in the residual market. What is the benefit of accepting the offer?
    Based on the filed and approved rules, if a reasonable offer of coverage has been made in the voluntary market, the employer is not entitled to coverage in the residual market. So, if the offer made by the VCAP® Service carrier is reasonable, you must accept it so that the employer meets its statutory obligation for workers compensation insurance.
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  33. My client has received an offer where the premium is more than what they would pay in the residual market. Do we have to accept it?
    No. You do not have to accept it. However, you may want to evaluate the offer to determine if increased limits of liability have been included or if the classification has been changed. Contact the VCAP® Service carrier if you have questions about the specific offer and why it is more expensive than the residual market premium.
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  35. What if my client receives an offer from a carrier with whom either they or I have had a bad experience?
    Although we understand that you or the employer may not want to do business with the carrier that has offered voluntary coverage to your client, only the filed and approved reasons for declining an offer of coverage, as detailed in question #14, are acceptable.
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  37. I accepted the offer. Now what happens?
    The voluntary coverage provider will confirm the voluntary offer of coverage within one business day of the producer accepting a reasonable offer. Confirmation notification will be sent to you by the coverage provider through RMAPS® Online Application Service or by fax. You will receive all necessary documents (e.g., binder, policy) directly from the carrier. If you have questions about what you will receive and by when, contact the voluntary coverage provider directly.
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  39. My client has received multiple offers. What do I do?
    You should evaluate all of the offers and accept the offer that best suits your client’s needs. Once an individual offer has been accepted, the other offer(s) will automatically be rejected. Refer also to question #13 above.
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  41. Will the VCAP® Service offers include any applicable state-specific assessments and second injury fund fees?
    As with the residual market, all initial premium is estimated. The producer should contact the specific coverage providers for any information pertaining to offers or to policy details.
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  43. Will the applicant or I have to complete another application after the VCAP® Service offer has been accepted and confirmed?
    No. After the voluntary coverage provider confirms coverage, NCCI provides it with all of the necessary underwriting information collected by NCCI, including the signed ACORD® 130 and 133 Forms and any other pertinent forms collected during the application process.
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  45. Will the coverage provider offer payment installments similar to the ones offered through the residual market?
    Payment plans in the voluntary market are determined by the underwriting practices of a specific coverage provider. The producer should contact the coverage provider for payment options.
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  47. Do I have to submit a new deposit premium, or will NCCI transfer what I’ve already paid to the VCAP® Service carrier?
    NCCI will transfer the deposit premium funds already paid to the VCAP® Service carrier. However, the employer is still responsible for paying any outstanding premium billed by that carrier. Also, please contact the carrier for inquires about premium deposits collected during the residual market process that are more than the deposit required by the voluntary coverage provider.
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  49. What if the employer or I become aware of a problem with the VCAP® Service carrier after the policy has been bound, and the employer wants to reapply for coverage in the residual market?
    Although VCAP® Service is a supplemental program to NCCI’s WCIP, the policy is a voluntary market policy. You may contact NCCI, and we will assist you to the best of our ability, depending on the issue involved and whether it is under our jurisdiction. General policy issues need to be addressed with the voluntary carrier.

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    CARRIER RELATIONSHIPS AND COMMISSIONS

  51. I do not have a relationship with the VCAP® Service carrier. Does this mean that my client does not qualify for VCAP® Service?
    No. Your lack of a relationship with the VCAP® Service carrier does not determine whether your client will be matched through VCAP® Service. Further, if your client is matched, an offer may or may not be forthcoming. Just like the residual market, you do not know who will make an offer of coverage. The program allows the producer the first policy term to develop a relationship with the carrier.
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  53. My client received an offer, but I still don’t have a relationship with the VCAP® Service carrier. Can I accept the offer on my client’s behalf?
    VCAP® Service rules state that for purposes of VCAP® Service as well as the WCIP, the producer is considered to be acting on behalf of the insured or employer applying for coverage. As with the matches, your lack of a relationship with the VCAP® Service carrier does not matter. You can still accept the offer on behalf of your client. The ultimate goal of VCAP® Service is to place the employer in the voluntary market. As indicated, you will have the first policy term to develop a relationship with that carrier.
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  55. What happens at renewal?
    The voluntary coverage provider may renew or nonrenew the policy. Any agreements between the producer and the voluntary coverage provider are exclusively between the two parties, do not include NCCI, and are not part of NCCI’s filed and approved WCIP and VCAP® Service. If, during that first year, you do not develop a relationship with that voluntary coverage provider, the policy is not renewed, or you are not able to obtain coverage through the voluntary market by other means, you can reapply for coverage through the residual market on the client’s behalf. If you do reapply, your client will still need to meet the good faith rules of eligibility and have the required number of voluntary carrier declinations.
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  57. Do I still get a commission?
    Yes. The commission rate is negotiated directly between you and the voluntary coverage provider, just like any other voluntary business. For the first year, your commission should not be less than the amount of the producer fee that would have been paid had the policy been written through the residual market. The only exception to this is if you are a Georgia producer. In Georgia, the commission must be the same as that paid in the voluntary market.
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  59. How do I know the amount of commission that the VCAP® Service carrier is offering?
    The commission amount can be found on the detail information page of the VCAP® Service Offer and Confirmation screens or on the faxes (if the application was made by mail or phone). For more information about how producer fees are calculated in your state, refer to NCCI’s Basic Manual Rule 4-H.
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  61. Do I still “own” the business (and expiration)?
    Yes. You still “own” the business. All communications regarding the policy are between you (as the producer of record) and the voluntary coverage provider. However, NCCI does not have any control if the client, through the regular course of its business practices, changes producers in the future. This is the same in the residual market.
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    OTHER

  63. If we do not respond to an offer within the allotted time frame, will the funds we have deposited be refunded?
    NCCI will contact you to discuss this matter further.
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  65. Why do you allow A.M. Best-rated carriers at a B+ level?
    As a threshold requirement, a voluntary coverage provider participating in VCAP® Service must be licensed in the state by the regulatory authority. If the voluntary coverage provider has been approved by the regulatory authority as a licensed insurer in the state with a B+ rating, then that carrier would be able to participate in VCAP® Service.
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    However, if a producer and/or employer requires that a voluntary coverage provider maintain an A– or better A.M. Best rating due to contractual agreements, errors and omissions policies, umbrella policies, etc., then the voluntary offer of coverage could be rejected because it would not be considered a reasonable offer of voluntary coverage. NCCI's Basic Manual Rule 4-D-2-h provides that if the “carrier’s A.M. Best financial rating status is below that required by the producer and/or employer,” it is not considered a reasonable offer of voluntary coverage.
     
    Employers should not apply for coverage in the assigned risk plan due to carrier rating if there is not a documented reason for doing so. If the rejection of a VCAP® Service offer for this reason is valid, the employer is entitled to coverage in the residual market. Currently, the WCIP does not address allowing employers to be provided with coverage simply due to a preferred A.M. Best rating.
     
  67. Do you monitor the VCAP® Service voluntary coverage providers?
    NCCI monitors day-to-day carrier participation in VCAP® Service to ensure that the program is working effectively and efficiently. NCCI does not audit the performance of these carriers because that is managed by the applicable regulatory authority through normal market conduct exams.

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