ARA Insurance, Kansas, City, MO, a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Rental Association (ARA), has partnered with Meadowbrook Insurance Group, Southfield, MI, to provide ARA members with a new workers’ compensation program.
“Workers’ compensation insurance, like health insurance, becomes very regional with different delivery systems. Certain states can direct people to certain hospitals and in other states you can’t, so you need a national program with strength. We believe we’ve found that with Meadowbrook Insurance,” says Phil Kelling, president and CEO of ARA Insurance.
Kelling says that Meadowbrook Insurance specializes in writing association programs and they have more than 30 such programs around the country. “They also offer a safety dividend depending on claims, which can benefit ARA members who sign up for the program. Very few companies offer a dividend program, but we are able to offer this to ARA members,” Kelling says.
Meadowbrook partners with many national and state trade association to provide workers’ compensation programs for their members, according to Dan Tharp, Meadowbrook’s national sales manager based in Overland Park, KS.
“We are excited with the opportunity and impressed with what ARA Insurance provides its members. Their strong focus on providing risk management to improve the safety at rental locations in addition to providing rental specific insurance coverage makes them a very good partner for this program. Their goal to manage risk and prevent losses will assure the success of this program as we move forward in this partnership,” Tharp says, adding that the program also offers dividends depending on favorable loss experience years, but that dividends are not guaranteed and are awarded at the discretion of Meadowbrook’s board of directors.
ARA Insurance started rolling out the program to its agents this month and now is contacting ARA members directly. By providing minimal information, a rental store can find out if it might qualify for the workers’ compensation program and what the premium would be.
Kelling says rental stores are often lumped into a highly rated and expensive classification by those that offer workers’ compensation insurance because those companies do not understand the industry. By working with Meadowbrook, ARA Insurance hopes to educate the company about the equipment rental industry.
“We hope to get the company and states to better understand the business and develop a specialty. That way, classifications can be more focused because there are differences in rental stores,” Kelling says.
Kelling expects the ARA Insurance workers’ compensation insurance program to offer competitive rates, but in some states that are highly regulated, the rates will be the same. Any dividends paid will make the difference in those areas, he says.
“The real difference will be in our service level and how well we handle the claims,” Kelling says. “We understand the unique needs of the equipment rental industry and what it takes to protect rental store owners, employees and rental businesses.”
The partnership with Meadowbrook also provides other potential benefits for ARA members. “Unlike traditional insurance programs our goal is to partner with both the association and their members to assist in the prevention of workplace injuries and the unintended consequences that often accompany those injuries,” Meadowbrook’s Tharp says.
“We are able to offer association members superior coverage at an affordable price, but our partnership only begins there. With the partnership of the association we are able to offer members, regardless of their size, services that normally are only available to the largest of accounts,” he says.
For example, according to Tharp, every participant in the program will have access to services such as free safety gear and access to loss control services, including a full safety library to conduct on-site training for employees and industry-trained loss-control consultants.