WC Coverage Verification Websites = Not Found In Some Cases
The coverage verification websites for Workers Compensation turned out to be disappointing. I received a WCIRB (Workers Comp rating organization for California) announcing that as of March 1, 2012 all coverage for Workers Compensation for the last five years was available. The captcha to get in the site was a little irritating, but likely a necessary evil so that a robo-logger could not pull all the data from the website.
I decided to give it a run with one of our client’s information. I attempted to look up their info on 3/2/2012. The info said “not found”. I tried again today and it worked fine. However, the client’s data that should have been updated since November 2011 was not logged yet. That is still OK. You can find the CA policy info here
I then decided to try the same in our HQ state. North Carolina’s verification worked fine and was up to date using one of our client’s data. I then tried different states’ coverage verification with mixed results.
The first time that I had heard that Workers Comp coverage verification info was available for any person that could access the web, I was somewhat concerned about releasing that info to the general public.
I have seen coverage verification work very well in one area. Some of our clients ask us to aid them in verifying that their subcontractors have valid insurance. The websites were great as we (or our clients) did not have to go through the heavily laborious process of calling every agent and/or carrier on every Workers Comp certificate of insurance. This avoids the Ladder of Insurance claims that occur often in the case of subcontractors.
The area I am not sure serves a great purpose is that if an employee wants to file a claim against their employer, they can go around their employer. I do realize there may be an isolated case of an employer not reporting they claim when filed, but I think that is a very rare case with all the penalties an employer faces for not reporting claims. I may be looking at it from the wrong viewpoint.
Overall, I think coverage verification websites are more than a necessary evil. Check out the Ladder of Insurance link above to see what can happen if you do not verify your subcontractor’s certificates of insurance.
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