Underwriting and Classification Assignment Guidelines for Risks Impacted by Inclement Weather and/or Disasters
From time to time, states may suffer extensive damage from inclement weather and/or disasters. The following addresses the treatment of employees and employers directly affected by these events.
NCCI's Basic Manual for Workers Compensation and Employers Liability Insurance (Basic Manual) Rule 1-F-1 addresses changes or corrections in classifications due to changes in an insured's operations. The temporary interruption or suspension of normal business activities caused by the severe inclement weather or other disaster may qualify as a change in operations. If an employer continues to pay its employees, carriers may consider a change from the governing classification to Code 8810—Clerical Office Employees NOC, Code 8871—Clerical Telecommuter Employees, or other appropriate classifications based on the duties of the employees while normal business operations are interrupted or suspended. Once normal business operations resume, appropriate classifications should be applied.
In addition, an employer may provide financial or nonfinancial grants to employees directly affected by the inclement weather and/or disaster. In these instances, please reference NCCI's Basic Manual Rule 2-B-2-l, which allows an employer to provide perks—such as flights, tickets to events, and discounts on property or services—that are excluded from payroll. While grants are not specifically named, they may be considered an employer-provided perk.
Additionally, many employers may be assisting in the clean-up effort both in and out of their state. Specifically, some of their employees may be involved in repairing and/or removing trees that have been damaged.
The assignment of the appropriate classifications1 is as follows:
- Code 0106—Tree Pruning and Removal—All Operations & Drivers—Natural Catastrophe applies to risks contracting exclusively to prune limbs, clean up tree debris, and remove lodged or felled trees in the aftermath of a natural catastrophe
- Code 6217—Excavation & Drivers applies to the removal of tree debris using mechanical equipment such as bulldozers and hydro-axes
- Code 2702—Logging or Tree Removal—Non-mechanized Operations applies to cutting down and removal of standing trees
Employers needing assistance with classification assignments should first consult their insurance agent and/or insurance carrier. The insurance carrier should evaluate the insured's operations and determine the appropriate classification.
Note: Interpretation of state or federal laws pertaining to coverage issues is not within the jurisdiction of NCCI.
As a reminder, for additional information regarding the Workers Compensation Insurance Plan (WCIP) applicants, policyholders, and assigned carriers, please refer to FYI-PLAN-2012-02—Plan--Annual Severe Inclement Weather and Other Environmental Disasters Bulletin, dated May 1, 2012.
1 Refer to each state's Basic Manual to determine if any state exceptions apply.
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