Trying to look up workers’ compensation rates by classification code?
With hundreds of different classification codes, finding the right one can be challenging. Here’s the quickest way to find the correct code.
But first: Every business is assigned one or more classification codes. Every classification code is assigned a rate, either by the state rating bureau or by each insurance carrier. This ensures that every business (in the same state) with that class code receives the same base rate.
Now, let’s turn our attention to how to look up classification codes for your business.
🚨 Shortcut: The fastest way to get the correct classification code for workers' comp is to request a real (no obligation) quote. 🚨
Step 1: Check the workers’ compensation certificate
If you have (or had) workers’ compensation insurance, stop what you’re doing and find your certificate of insurance. It’s here that you’ll find the class codes assigned to your business.
Classification codes are usually a 3- or 4-digit number followed by a brief description of the business type. For example:
- 0042 Landscape Gardening & Drivers
- 5037 Painting
- 5537 Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems—Installation, Service and Repair, Shop, Yard Work & Drivers
- 9014 Janitorial Services by Contractors—No Window Cleaning Above Ground Level & Drivers
Review your policy at least once a year for accuracy and to ensure that you’re not overpaying for coverage. In particular:
- Does the classification code still describe what the business does?
- Has the business expanded into any services, or hired staff that serves a supporting role (e.g. clerical, sales, delivery)?
- Does payroll need to be adjusted, overall or for specific class codes?
You may be surprised at what can change over the course of a year.
Step 2: Find out who sets class codes and rates
The first thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter how you find a classification code. What matters is that you find and select the correct one.
This varies by state with most using the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) for codes and rates. There are a handful of states that don’t use the NCCI, including:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
Step 3: Look up governing classification code
Many companies — even those with only a handful of employees — have more than one class code. However, every business has a primary code. This is called the governing class code, and it represents the overall product or service offered by your company.
Once you know who sets class codes and rates in your state, you can choose to proceed in one of three ways:
- Contact the governing body directly. For example, if you live in Georgia, this information is available from the NCCI.
- Look up codes on the state’s website. The Florida Workers' Compensation Joint Underwriting Association is a good example of this. It has a tool for looking up class codes, rates, and minimum premiums.
- Use a third-party lookup tool. Obtaining information directly from your state’s governing body is often easier said than done. For instance, the NCCI requires you to create an account. If this is too much of a hassle, we have resources — like our list of the 120+ most common class codes and online quote tool — to guide you through the process.
How to choose the correct governing class code
To choose the right code, start by answering questions such as:
- What industry category does your business fit in?
- What type of product or service do you sell?
- What are the daily responsibilities of your employees?
With each answer, you move closer to pinning down the proper class code for each employee.
If you’re struggling to find your governing class code, here are some tips that can help:
- Identify your current business operations: Focus on what you do now, not what you hope to do in the future.
- Search by industry: With the help of a lookup tool, you can use key words to narrow your options within your industry.
- Read the classification code descriptions: After narrowing your options, read the descriptions to determine which one most closely aligns with your company.
- Consider the Not Otherwise Classified (NOC) designation: Select this if you can’t find a description that fits your business.
Ideally, review a list of relevant class codes and narrow down the list based on these questions.
Step 4: Look up additional class codes
Some businesses have other workers beyond their core business. A painting business might have an office manager. A catering company might have a salesperson. A restaurant might have a delivery driver. A construction company might have a part-time bookkeeper.
The two most common supporting class codes are:
- 8810 – Clerical Office Employees
- 8742 — Salespersons Or Collectors — Outside
For most businesses, that also means savings: These supporting roles are often office-based, lower risk and therefore less expensive to insure.
Need help getting your classification code?
Even with a variety of tools and answers to the above questions, you may still require professional assistance. This is preferred to choosing the wrong classification code and paying the price for it in the end.
At WorkCompOne, we’re here to efficiently move you through the process one step at a time. Not only can we answer your questions and address your concerns, but you can receive an actual quote that you can take action on when the time comes. Get started today by requesting a quote: