Oregon has a voluntary competitive market comprised of more
than 300 companies licensed to sell workers' compensation insurance. Most of
these companies sell their product through independent agents.
If you are refused voluntary coverage by one or more of
these insurance companies, you can obtain coverage through the Oregon Workers'
Compensation Insurance Plan or what is commonly known as the assigned risk
There are currently three companies who process policies and
claims for the assigned risk plan. These companies are SAIF, Liberty Mutual,
and Travelers Indemnity. Premiums paid to these companies go to the assigned
risk plan and their costs are refunded by the State of Oregon.
Before you can apply to the assigned risk plan, one company
must first turn you down for workers' compensation coverage. We suggest if you
have any other form of insurance (automobile or homeowner), first contact the
insurance agent who sold you those lines of coverage. Often, that agent will be
able to place your coverage with a company the agent represents. This is to
your advantage because you have an established credit history with the agent.
Sometimes you may be able to get them to write a "business package,"
which can also include workers' compensation coverage.
If one insurer turns you down, you can apply directly to the
assigned risk plan by calling the National Council on Compensation
Insurance at 800-622-4123 (toll-free). You
may apply by phone by selecting the "Assigned Risk" option on the
recording. Ask NCCI to fax you an application, or you may request NCCI to take
your application over the phone. Any insurance agent can help you complete the
faxed application. You can also access the application online at www.ncci.com.
If your current coverage is in the assigned risk plan, you
can pursue coverage elsewhere in the voluntary market at any time. If you find
an insurer outside of the assigned risk plan that is willing to take your
coverage, you must give to your current insurer in the assigned risk plan 30
days’ written notice of your intent to cancel your policy. You will be subject
to a minimum premium for the period of time your policy was in force but you
will not suffer a short-rate cancellation penalty for breaking the insurance
contract before it expired.
If you have questions, call the Workers’
Compensation Small Business Ombudsman at 503-378-4209. We may be able to
suggest some insurance markets and insurance agents that serve certain industry
niches. The Yellow Pages and the Internet are also helpful resources.