Five-Star Excellence Awards in Worker’s Compensation


Worker’s Compensation Insurance (worker’s comp) is mandatory in nearly every single US state. It is a specific type of insurance that must be purchased in addition to any other policies that a business is covered by.


Worker’s comp is designed to cover costs like medical expenses and a portion of lost wages for workers who become injured at work. Coverage will also usually include some of the costs of workers rehabilitation, and death benefits.


Each state has its own set of rules regarding workers comp, but one common theme is that the insurance will cover workers, whether or not there is negligence by the employer. The insurance will also often act to protect employers from lawsuits by workers who get injured while working for their employer.

States decide aspects such as what injuries are covered, how much entitlement an employee is eligible to, and how medical care will be provided.



Well, the short answer is no, not if they’re not on our list, but these are the Worker’s Compensation insurers who took the most in insurance premiums last year according to NAIC figures.


Company Direct Premiums Written ($m) Market Share %
Travelers 4,212 7.5
Hartford 3,365 5.99
Zurich 2,640 4.7
Liberty Mutual 2,447 4.36
Chubb 2,430 4.33
Berkshire Hathaway 2,311 4.12
AmTrust Financial 2,172 3.87
State Fund 1,996 3.56
BCBS of Michigan 1,745 3.11
AIG 1,453 2.59


Despite the global Coronavirus pandemic’s huge effect on the economy, worker’s compensation insurance providers are facing a very profitable 2020 as the drop in claims has substantially outpaced the drop in premium revenue. Worker’s compensation has been the most profitable commercial line for providers over the last five years according to Fitch. COVID-related claims have amounted to 7.4% of paid out claims as of November. The current surge in profitability is now causing price competition among insurers, causing the market to soften as businesses stop buying insurance for laid – off workers.


‘There are several companies still offering commission incentives on smaller or lighter (office type) risks to get that business in the door,’ one broker told our research team.


The worker’s compensation market in the US is currently $56.4 billion – having grown from $42 billion in 2010.



Worker’s compensation is an essential cover for businesses, but when choosing a policy, what are the most important features for brokers?


It’s all about the claims


Our research showed a clear winner being the importance of claims processing when choosing insurance options for clients. 91.5% of surveyed brokers rated the claims experience as being important or extremely important when considering a policy. Carriers like Safety National were recognized a number of times for speed of processing and reimbursement, while Canadian owned The Zenith also was talked about in glowing terms.


I know what I’m doing!


If claims handling is number one in importance, underwriting expertise is a very close second. 87.7% of brokers said that underwriting expertise was most, or very, important.


Show me the money


And in third place? Despite the focus on price in so many types of insurance, competitive pricing lagged our top two, with 85.4% saying that they though this factor was most, or very important.


They’re easy to do business with


Without doubt, one of the most important factors that our researchers heard time after time, was how easy a worker’s compensation insurance provider was to deal with. When we asked respondents an open ended question as to why they had nominated the insurer they did, it was customer service and ease of business that shone through. “The QBE team have helped my clients time and time again. They are experienced, trusted and provide great service” said one broker. “I put our preference with carriers who are easy to work with, strong communication, customer focus and responsiveness” said another.


That key connection between insurer and broker makes or breaks whether a policy is right for a client. A good connection means that brokers can get the information they need for their clients and handle that clients requests and claims efficiently.


When asked how a certain carrier provides the best customer service, one broker simply responded: “They’re just easy to do business with.”


5-Star Excellence Awards

  • AF Group
  • AIG
  • Applied Underwriters
  • Chubb
  • CNA
  • Everest Insurance
  • Hanover
  • Key Risk - a Berkley Company
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • Markel Insurance
  • Method Insurance Services
  • Midwestern Insurance Alliance
  • Nationwide
  • Safety National
  • Texas Mutual Insurance Company
  • The Hartford
  • Travelers
  • Zenith Insurance
  • Zurich Insurance Group





‘Market leading’ is a phrase many insurance companies like to use when describing their products. Now, 25 companies can claim that title on the back of hard market research from the people that matter most.


To select the 2021 Best Workers Compensation Insurance Providers, IBA enlisted the expertise of the industry’s top experts. Throughout a 15-week process, our research team conducted one-on-one interviews with specialist brokers and surveyed thousands more within IBA’s network to gain a keen understanding of what insurance professionals think of current market offerings. Brokers were first quizzed on what features they thought were most important in worker’s compensation policies, and then asked how the insurance providers they dealt with rated on those attributes.


Carriers were measured on the strength of their relationships with brokers, ability to handle claims, underwriting expertise and, most importantly, the strength of the individual products they provide.



Best in Workers Compensation


What coverage does workers’ compensation provide?

Workers’ compensation insurance reduces a company’s liability for work-related injuries and illnesses. Without coverage, an employee can sue his or her company to help pay for their medical expenses, lost wages, ongoing care costs, and funeral expenses. For medical expenses, workers’ compensation can include emergency room visits, necessary surgeries, and prescriptions.


Workers’ comp can also cover repetitive injury on the job. Injury like carpal tunnel syndrome, for instance, can take months or years to develop. If a company’s receptionist develops carpal tunnel syndrome after years of typing with poor ergonomics, workers’ comp can help cover treatment costs and ongoing care bills. In addition, workers’ comp coverage can provide benefits to employees who are temporarily or permanently disabled on the job, to help pay for medical bills and replace lost wages.


How does the workers’ compensation coverage claim process work?

Workers’ compensation claim process varies from state to state, but regardless of your location, it is crucial to begin claim processing immediately following a work-related illness or injury. Important requirements for each company to know are to ensure injured or ill employees receive immediate medical care; employees should notify employers about work-related injury or illness immediately; and employers need to contact workers’ comp providers to submit a claim (and, depending on your state, notify state-run workers’ comp board). Afterward, the company’s provider will review the claim and approve or deny benefits.


Typically, states have a time limit when an employee can report a work-related injury to their manager – usually between 30-90 days – and a time limit for when an employer can report a workers’ comp injury to their insurance provider.


What does workers’ compensation not cover?

Workers’ compensation does not cover all work-related injuries. Typically, injuries or illnesses sustained while an employee is intoxicated or using illegal drugs, for instance, are not covered. Coverage may be also denied due to self-inflicted injuries, i.e., those caused by an employee who starts a fight; injuries suffered while an employee was committing a crime; injuries suffered while an employee was not on the job; and injuries suffered when an employee’s conduct violated company policy. However, an employee will be covered while traveling on business, doing a work-related errand, or even attending a required business-related social function.