If you own an auto body or mechanical service shop, you were probably surprised — and not happy — to learn that your service advisors and estimators do not qualify for class code 8810.
To understand the reasoning, you first need to understand how class codes are assigned in the first place.
Workers’ comp class codes are assigned to business operations AS A WHOLE. They are not assigned solely on an individual employee’s job duties.
This means that if you manufacture computers, the employee who assembles the monitors is classified the same as the employee who assembles the keyboards. They both work in support of your computer manufacturing business AS A WHOLE and are therefore assigned to one code.
In CA, we call this a Single Enterprise; the assembly of monitors and keyboards are operations that normally prevail in a computer manufacturing operation. This same rule applies to NCCI states.
A clerical employee, on the other hand, is someone who performs duties that are typical to ANY type of business. Every business has employees who do bookkeeping. This is why a clerical employee is called a standard exception, because they are standard to every type of business.
Yes, I agree that an estimator does not perform the same duties as a technician.
And why there isn’t another code for these employees, I don’t know. Possibly, there aren’t enough of these types of employees to make a new code statistically accurate for rating purposes.
Or, the reasoning is that these employees still have exposure — albeit small — to the vehicles. Obviously, their risk of injury is drastically lower than a technician’s. But again, it goes back to classifying the business as a whole.
Just like a cashier in a grocery store does not perform the same duties as someone who stocks the shelves (and who arguably has a greater risk of injury), yet both are still assigned to the grocery store class code.
So instead of comparing the rates between 8810 and the body or service shop codes, consider the fact that the body shop and service shop class codes would be much higher if the estimators and advisors were NOT included in these codes.
This is because rates are determined by the number and severity claims that have been filed by ALL businesses in those codes, as compared to the total payroll reported. Including estimators and service advisors in these codes lowers the claims filed and increases the total payroll.
Which lowers the rates.
If the advisors and estimators were classified into a different code, the rate would be lower, but the rate for the technicians and mechanics would be higher.
Just something to think about!