FACTS ABOUT WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
Oh, pre-marketing season, how we’ve missed you. There aren’t a lot of Hail Companies out there that deploy the pre-marketing strategy we do. In fact, many times when other companies hear how we spend up to a quarter of our year, out in the field, meeting and talking with body shops about preparing for hail season, they have a look of bewilderment. They don’t understand why we would spend that much time talking with shops that might never even experience a hail storm. PDR companies have been conditioned to sit and wait for hail to hit somewhere and only then; do they want to talk with shops because now they want your business.
Here at Dentsmart, we try to speak with as many body shops as possible before a hail event to express the importance of partnering with the right PDR company and what to expect in the days and months following the storm. Meetings like this also help to keep our body shop partners up to date on our ever-changing industry. Whether or not the shop ever works with us, if we can help folks better prepare to manage a hail event in their community, then we’ve done our job. This is what being an industry leader is all about.
I liken our pre-marketing season to the NFL playoffs leading up to our Super Bowl, Hail Season! I love getting out on the road and meeting new body shops and learning about their businesses.
A big topic of discussion with our shops is the importance of working with a company that has Full Garage Liability and Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Meeting with your PDR provider on an annual basis helps you to manage this situation on your terms and keeps you from having to do this in the days following a hail event or worse, come audit time.
AN EXPENSIVE LESSON.
Years ago, we were managing a small storm in Rome, NY. At that time, workers’ compensation was just starting to be a requirement, and I had yet to pick up the coverage. I had a shop we had done about $40,000 in business with and they called a couple months later asking for our proof of workers’ compensation. The shop was being audited by their insurance company, and I was informed that if I couldn’t provide the proof, then the insurance company was going to apply that $40,000 we invoiced to our client’s line since they had essentially “incurred the risk.” We had no choice but to reimburse the shop a large portion of that revenue back. It was my mistake, so it was the right thing to do. I’d like to think that most PDR companies would do the same but many times once the job is over these companies move on and problems like this are left for you to deal with by yourself. Needless to say, we’ve carried full garage and workers’ ever since.
In recent years more and more insurance companies require the workers’ compensation coverage for PDR companies. Shop owners want to be careful because there tend to be varying opinions among PDR companies about whether you really need this coverage. This is more of an issue with out of state companies who aren’t familiar with your state’s local requirements. I always recommend asking for both, especially in NY state where workers’ comp and garage have become commonplace.
One last thing for you to consider. Some states now require PDR companies to add state-specific language on their policy. The “one size fits all” coverage looks to be becoming a thing of the past. Our company seems to be audited every year, and because of this, we are excellent about keeping all of our tech’s coverage on file. This year was no different. We were audited like always, but to our surprise, we were told we had to pay a penalty because our policy didn’t have state-specific language, as a separate line item. This was something new that we had never encountered. Going forward, we will only be working with technicians who have a policy endorsed by New York State to protect our clients.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR “AUDIT PROOFING” YOUR SHOP.
- Always ask your provider for proof of Garage and WC on an annual basis.
- Keep these documents on file and ready for your insurance company.
- In a hail scenario always require both Garage and WC from hail “chaser” companies from out of state.
- Check with your insurance company to confirm your PDR provider has the policy that is explicitly endorsed by your state. For example, in New York, a specific line item needs to have a New York endorsement on our technicians’ policies.
Meeting with your PDR company before hail season allows you to have these conversations before storm season rolls around. Any changes needed to their policy can be handled ahead of time, so you aren’t dealing with any unnecessary surprises.
If you’d like to have a phone call or in-person meeting with one of our representatives, please call 315-266-7002. A one-hour session can save you thousands of dollars come audit time.
Robert Argyle is a 21 year PDR professional. Owner of Dentsmart of New York. Founder of the Crush Hail Academy podcast on Itunes, Stitcher, Google Play or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.
In addition to New York, Dentsmart currently serves the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Michigan.