header image

Frequently Asked Questions 


General Worker's Compensation: 

What is covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

  • Medical care following and injury or illness
  • Wage replacement if a worker loses income because of an injury
  • Costs for vocational retraining if an injury renders a worker unable to continue working in their current role
  • Compensation for permanent injuries
  • Benefits for families of a worker killed on the job
  • Issues and illnesses that develop over a long period by the same injurious work activity

Who Is Covered?

  • All employees. Don't forget - if you provide housing, that is also considered payroll and subject to premium charges.
  • Officers of a corporation are legally considered employees of that corporation and are automatically included in coverage.
    • However, corporations with one to two corporate officers owning 100% of the shares with each officer owning at least 1 share can elect to exclude one or both officers from coverage.
  • Children over the age of 18 related to an owner
  • Anyone who does work for your business for any length of time is covered by the workers' compensation policy. This even includes self-employed subcontractors who are typically hired to do custom work.
    • If you do hire an independent contractor, be sure to get a Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance from them and keep it on file. Otherwise, you could be charged a premium for the contracted amount.

Who Is Not Covered?

  • Sole proprietors, partners, members of an LLC are automatically excluded from coverage.
  • Spouses and minor children under the age of 18

Note: The employer is required to post notice of compliance with New York State Workers' Compensation Law in a common area in both English and Spanish. 

Do Farmers Need Workers' Compensation?

Coverage is mandatory: All employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees regardless of annual payroll. Previously farm employers with less than $1,200 in annual payroll were exempt.

Posters must be displayed in English and Spanish: Employers are required to post the mandatory workers’ compensation notice of compliance poster in both English and Spanish. Employers get these posters from their insurance carrier, or, if self-insured, from the Workers’ Compensation Board by emailing Certificates@wcb.ny.gov.

Do Farmers Need NY Disability Insurance?

Farm employers, owners and operators are required to provide disability benefits and NY Paid Family Leave coverage to eligible farm laborers. For more information, call our office at 1-800-342-4143 or the Workers’ Compensation Board at 1-800-628-3331.

Safety Group 486: 

Who is eligible to join Safety Group 486?

Any New York Farm Bureau member whose operation fits into one or more of the following categories:

Code - Classification

0005 - Nurserymen And Sod Farmers

0006 - Farms Noc & Drivers (Includes livestock, crops and breeding)

0007 - Fruit Farms & Drivers

0031 - Vegetable, Berry, Or Grape & Drivers

0034 - Poultry & Drivers, Apiary & Drivers 

0035 - Florist, Cultivate Or Garden, & Drivers

0050 - Farm Machinery Contractors

2014 - Feed Manufacturing Or Grain Milling

2105 - Fruit Packing

2121 - Breweries & Drivers *Must have farm payroll to be eligible 

2143 - Fruit Juice Manufacturing Or Winery

2157 - Bottling Noc & Drivers (Distillery) *Must have farm payroll to be eligible 

7201 - Livery/Boarding/Horse Show Stable & Drivers

7207 - Riding Academies

8102 - Seed Merchants

8116 - Farm Machinery Dealers

8199 - Feed Or Farm Supply Dealer - Retail

8209 - Vegetable Packing & Drivers

8215 - Hay, Grain, Feed Dealers & Drivers

8288 - Livestock Sales

How much does it cost?

Call 1-800-342-4143 or use the Get a Quote form today! We can then tell you how much the policy will cost you.

Being a member of the New York Farm Bureau Safety Group 486 also means that you may be eligible for a 25% up-front discount and an annual dividend.  The dividend is a return of premium that is left over at the end of the year after paying the claims and losses for the group, and the reserves are calculated.

What Is The Safety Group 486 Dividend History?

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

35%

35%

40%

45%

45%

Average Dividend =40%

*Future dividends are not guaranteed.

What Is the "Group Managers' Fee"?

Although an active continual NYFB membership is required of all participants, Safety Group 486 is not supported by the New York Farm Bureau membership dues or commissions paid by an insurance carrier. Therefore, a group managers' fee is charged to all policyholders in the Safety Group to cover administrative expenses. This fee is based on a percentage of the annual base premium billed by the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF). Currently, the fee is merely 8.5%.

For this fee, members of Safety Group 486 have someone on hand at NYFB to answer their questions and concerns regarding their policies. Staff has direct access to NYSIF system so we may view a policy in the group at any time. The Group Manager and the Safety Group Executive Committee represent the interests of the policyholders with NYSIF, the Workers' Compensation Board, and other agencies.

How do I get a policy started?

If you are not currently with the New York State Insurance Fund:

  1. Call 1-800-342-4143 for a premium quote or click on Get A Quote and complete the form.
  2. A quote and application packet will be emailed to you, if eligible.
  3. Download and complete NYSIF Workers’ Compensation application, Group Authorization and NYFB Memorandum of Understanding. Or, an electronic application can be submitted. Signature and payment must be made electronically.
  4. Applications must be postmarked before the desired effective date of coverage.
  5. Send the complete application packet and premium deposit check (made payable to New York State Insurance Fund) to:
New York Farm Bureau
Member Services Inc.
159 Wolf Road, Suite 300
Albany NY 12205-0330

Note: New York Farm Bureau Member Services Inc. cannot bind coverage. Typically, coverage is effective the day after the completed application and deposit are received in this office. However, only the insurance carrier, the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF), can bind coverage and confirm the effective date of coverage.

If you are currently with NYSIF, contact our office at least 30-60 days prior to the anniversary date to see if your policy is eligible for transfer into NYFB Safety Group 486. (If eligible, simply sign and return the Group Authorization and Memorandum of Understanding 30 days before the anniversary date. The policy will then be transferred into NYFB Safety Group 486 and the policy issued from the current anniversary date to the Group anniversary date of December 31.)

How will I be billed?

 A policy is first billed using the estimated payroll figures given by the client on the original application. The annual premium is usually broken down in one of four ways:

Annual Premium Amount

Payment Plan

Less than $1,000

100% due upon renewal

$1,000 - $10,000

25% due upon renewal, 9 monthly installments

Over $10,000

25% due upon renewal, 9 monthly installments, or

Over $10,000

12 equal monthly installments

New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) does charge a $10 service fee for any debit balance each month. If the policy carries a credit balance, the service charge will not be applied.

The Group Managers' Fee will be billed separately by the New York Farm Bureau Member Services Inc. once the policy is issued. The Group Managers’ Fee is typically billed upon the annual renewal and adjusted by an audit.

The policy period for Safety Group 486 runs from December 31 to December 31. Renewals are issued approximately 45 days in advance and the initial payment should be made prior to January 1 for the coming year. During the months of January, February and March, the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) will mail policyholders payroll reports or schedule audit appointments. This is when the actual payroll for the prior year is recorded and the account is then adjusted. If the payroll was higher than estimated, an additional premium could be due. If the payroll was lower than estimated, then there may be a credit.

All first-year policies are subject to a physical audit to verify not only payroll amounts but that the policy is properly classified. Policies with an annual premium over $10,000 are subject to an annual audit. All others could be physically audited every 3 years.

It is very important that the payroll information is reported accurately and on time. Failure to have an audit or return a payroll report may result in an increase in premium, the loss of the upfront discount and may also delay the return of the dividend.