construction insurance company

How to Handle a Premium Audit

It might be hard to fathom any type of audit being beneficial, but when your insurer conducts a premium audit for your account, it can just as important to you as it is to your carrier.

When you were first issued your policy, the carrier looked at the estimated sales figures or payroll data that you provided to them. It calculated your premiums based on this information. Now that you have real numbers under your belt and actual experience, the information can be reassessed to determine the correct premium amount.

Depending on how your business operates and the size of your policy, there are several methods your insurance carrier can use to conduct your premium audit, including:

Mail — Your insurer will mail you an audit form and the instructions to complete it. Once completed, you will return the form by mail to your carrier.

Phone — Your carrier will hire an independent audit company to conduct your audit over the phone.

Physical — Your insurance company will usually conduct the audit at your business, but it could be conducted at an alternative location, such as your certified public accountant’s office.

Regardless of the method, the audit will typically include your disbursements and payroll journals, ledgers, tax and Social Security reports, state unemployment forms, and other accounting records being inspected. Depending on the audit, other documents could be involved.

The data is then used for determining and adjusting premium amounts (either higher or lower). If it’s higher, you may be asked to pay back premium for the months that you underpaid for coverage.

Be prepared

The best way to handle these audits is to be prepared, and that means keeping track of certain documents and records and having them conveniently accessible so you can produce them at a moment’s notice.

The most commonly audited policies are liability and all workers’ comp policies. The
audits collect exposure information estimated when the policy was written and compare it to the actual numbers.

Here are the main records you will need to produce:

Liability policies

  • Gross company sales

  • Independent contractor costs (insured and uninsured)

  • Payroll for certain types of exposures.

Workers’ compensation policies

  • Actual employee payroll

  • Cost of independent contractors if no certificate or proof of other coverage is provided.

    If you are notified that you will be audited, you can make the whole process easier and less stressful and hopefully end on a positive note if you follow these tips:

How to prepare

Once you’ve been notified that you’re up for an audit, there are a number of steps you can take before the auditor arrives:

  • Find out what the auditor will be reviewing by looking at their worksheets and past audit billing statements.

  • Determine which of your employees would be best suited to work with the auditor. Look for someone that’s both knowledgeable about the accounting records that will be used in the audit and about what work is done by various employees and departments.

  • Collect all the accounting records that will be used during the audit.

  • If you use subcontractors, make sure that you have their certificates of insurance on hand. Ensure that your documentation shows all the contractors have their own general liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage.

  • Check that your payroll documents include a breakdown of wages according to class code, department and employee.


The day of the audit

  • Make sure you have all the applicable records easily available to the auditor. You might request the audit be conducted at your place of business.

  • Ask the auditor to explain any points that aren’t clear to you.

  • Request a hard copy of the auditor’s findings.

After the audit

Carefully assess the audit billing statement, comparing it to your original policy. Discuss the findings with us for assistance and advice.

Don’t agree to pay any additional premium dollars until after you have talked to us, you’ve made a list of all changes and discussed any problematic areas with the auditor.

Knowing what to expect and how to prepare is the key to a successful audit. Even if you end up being charged back-premium, it could be worse if you don’t keep accurate records. By regularly updating records that your insurer would ask for, you’ll be ahead of the game and you may identify changes that may affect your premium.

BGES Group, located in Larchmont, N.Y. are New York Construction Insurance Specialists (we cover the tri-state area) that represent 50+ companies and all the BEST general & umbrella liability programs!  We offer every coverage you need including property, builders risk, inland marine, general liability, umbrella liability, auto, bid & performance bonds, workers’ compensation, N.Y.S. disability and group health.  We are extremely responsive, responsible, trustworthy, fast, minimize your insurance headaches, we don’t charge ridiculous policy or service fees and when you call, text or email, whatever time of day, even weekends, we are there and will help you!

BGES Group are Workers’ Compensation Insurance Specialists for Tri-State Business Owners: Unhappy with your rates, company, being cancelled, losses causing difficulty getting coverage, in the middle of an audit dispute, payrolls misclassified, whatever your issue, we can help!  We have special programs for: Auto Service, Contractors, Limousine Services, Logistic Companies, Manufacturers, Recyclers, Truckers, we can help ANY tri-state business owner.  We are considered “Preferred Agents” for this one program that if we can get you in, their pricing is excellent, offers long-term coverage stability and can cover multi-state operations. Program takes the hassle out of doing annual audits too.

BGES Group offers all personal insurance coverages including home, auto, boat, jewelry, fine arts, life, disability, health and long-term care.  When was the last time you got a complete check up for all your coverage needs?   We are extremely caring and would love the chance to help you with your personal insurance needs.

BGES Group is an insurance agency whose owner is very responsible, responsive, offers boutique, very personal service and is ALWAYS there when you need him most!

Go read our “Google Reviews” and see what people have to say about us!  That can give you the comfort level needed to contact us.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

The auditors are busy working in the office.

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