By: Ed Tanzini and Sharon Novasel

The members of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Michigan Chapter are and have always been committed to maintaining safe work sites for their employees so that they can safely return home at the end of the work day. To help maintain this dedication to safety on their construction sites, the Greater Michigan Chapter, along with the other Chapters of the ABC of Michigan, decided to establish the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan Self-Insured Workers’ Compensation Fund (ABC Fund). As a member owned self-insured workers’ compensation program the ABC Fund was established and began its first fund year on May 01, 1995. Over the years since 1995, the ABC Fund has become the largest workers’ compensation provider for Michigan’s construction industry, with premiums of almost $26,000,000 in the 2018 fund year.

Since its inception, the ABC Fund has been an instrumental part of the safety plan to keep our ABC employees safe on the jobsite and well covered by worker’s compensation insurance should they be injured at work. The ABC Fund was designed to help keep the cost of safely performing the work to a minimum for its members. This is done by pricing the ABC Fund workers’ compensation insurance at competitive levels and by returning all surplus premium revenue and earnings, not used to pay claims, to the members.

Fund members receive stable yet competitive upfront pricing and continue to outperform the insurance marketplace with lower net premium costs every year. This competitive pricing, along with the ABC Fund’s selective approach to underwriting new members, is designed to save members money on the total cost of workers’ compensation over the long term. From substantial profit returns to aggressive claims handling, the Fund is the most cost-effective workers’ compensation option for its members year after year.

Currently, ABC Fund members will receive a $10,526,000 credit for good performance on their 2019 renewal. This amount of surplus comes from a number of policy years and includes premium not used to pay claims and investment income. This brings the total credit returned to the Fund members since inception to over $62 million and represents an average return of premium of 40% for the last several years and 53% of premium returned in the past five years.

The ABC Fund takes the responsibility for the costs associated with claims and workplace safety very seriously. Reducing the costs associated with workers’ compensation claims means more profit to go back to members. The Fund’s Board of Trustees, elected by the members, governs the operation of the fund and provides authorization on claims settlements of size. In addition, the claims adjusters have lower caseloads compared to other workers’ compensation carriers which allow them more time to be proactive in managing the claim and reducing the overall costs associated with loss time injuries.

By focusing on accident prevention and proper claims management, fund members continue to keep their costs down as low as possible. The Fund’s safety record has been outstanding with some of the lowest loss ratios in recent years. This excellent performance leads to substantial premium returns back to the members and is attributed to each member’s continued commitment to maintain a safe work environment for their employees.

The ABC Fund offers its members numerous safety resources and loss control programs that are specific to the construction industry. Some of the Fund’s educational training focuses on creating a safety culture in the workplace, by working with owners/supervisors on proper claims handling, accident investigation, return-to-work programs and making every employee accountable for safety on the job. The Fund works with loss control specialists who provide sound guidance and cost-saving solutions on safety and loss prevention for its members. The online safety center includes a comprehensive human resource library at no cost to members. It provides in depth information on the most current federal and state employment laws, as well as a complete range of downloadable forms, posters, on literally hundreds of topics.

For most members, the cost savings is the primary reason they insure with the ABC Fund. It has proven to dramatically reduce the overall costs of their workers’ compensation insurance year after year.

With over 75% of the Associated Builders & Contractors of Michigan association members participating, the ABC Fund is one of the greatest benefits of association membership. The ABC Fund was established to benefit construction employers by controlling costs, reducing accidents through loss control, providing aggressive claims oversight, and returning surplus money back to members.

Congratulations to the Associated Builders & Contractors of Michigan Self-Insured Workers’ Compensation Fund members for an excellent job on keeping their premium costs low and employees safe! If you’re not currently a member, you’re missing out on the many benefits the ABC Fund has to offer. Please contact the ABC Greater Michigan Chapter or RPS Regency for more information.