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Workmans comp rates...classification?

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  • Workmans comp rates...classification?

    Getting run around with insurance company. Reclassifying my employees into their class that includes rifle ranges, roller coaster operators, cave exploration etc. Everything listed in that class is HIGH risk and consequently high rates for insurance. BUT IN BLACK AND WHITE in that classes description it says entertainers are to be rated separately. I point this out to them in their own forms and they get miffed. But today I get response back that that class is for 'PROFESSIONALS" like Dj's, dancers, theatre groups and so on...not my employees. Told them to send me the class description as they had before of where they want to put me. What rates per $100 of payroll do you pay for actors? I am sure I am going to get suggestions of different insurance companies that display at transworld Etc.; but this is on my farm and it is all tied together. Not a simple haunted house.

    Wicked Farmer

  • #2
    There are tons of insurance companies out there for sure... travelers I think is the biggest one on the block. You might want to try them. I think we classify them as actors exactly what they are. The biggest thing is getting the best rate. Lastly I can tell you that your payroll companies they also offer workers comp if you hadn't checked into that something to think about. Larry
    Larry Kirchner


    • #3
      This just keeps getting better...

      Today I got email from agent. Basically informing me of how it was going to be. I had already been told that "entertainers" rate only applied to "PROFESSIONALS". Told them I was almost laughing at that statement. Then the current email says "this is only for theatres". But...wicked farmer has a knack at doing something they do not do...ACTUALLY READ the classification status they send me. Right there in black and white are words in Michigan code 9156 ENTERTAINERS, PLAYERS or MUSICIANS Code 9156 applies to actors, players, entertainers and musicians who provide VARIOUS types of entertainment AT ALL KINDS OF LOCATIONS. I quoted ALL KINDS OF LOCATIONS back to them 3 times to drive the point home like a artillery barrage.

      Note these interesting tidbits and how they are trying to equate the haunt industry to same classification as rifle ranges, operators of roller coasters, canoe rental (anyone ever drown in a haunt???) and other HIGH RISK/high insurance rate operations.

      Also note they "disallowed a petting zoo" at my place last year as it was too high risk...but the classification they want me to pay insurance on INCLUDES ZOO's

      The very form they sent me to say I am part of all of these high risk activities SPECIFICALLY excluded entertainers, food concessions, ticket takers, and the like by name on the form.

      Entertainers in haunt attractions do not qualify for lower rateinsurance premium as they are "Not Professional". That was first excuse/bullshit I got from one agent. The code nowhere mentions word Professional.

      Entertainers in haunt attractions do not qualify for lower rate premium category because "code 9156 applies to performers in a theatrical setting..." When I read code description they gave me says "at all kinds of locations"

      I'm getting the run around. The haunt industry is getting the run around. What it boils down a premium on payroll; 10 times what it used to be by simply reclassifying into a high risk catagory. And this is happening in Michigan the Haunt Capital of the World.

      Wicked Farmer
      Last edited by wickedfarmer; 07-25-2015, 03:45 PM.


      • #4

        Seeing how this has gone step by step; my gut feeling is this is a calculated ploy to raise rates on haunt industry. I might be way out in left field on this; BUT get this...I am QUOTING latest email below:

        "The Audit Department has spoken with PAAS (the premium Audit Advisory Service, a division of the Insurance Services Office) and they confirmed with CAOM (the Copensation Advisory Organization of Michigan) that the correct code for this exposure is 9015"

        My response to that is basically they do not like me proving them full of BS by quoting Michigan Code back to them and go up the chain of monkeys to get a higher ruling affirming their correctness. Told them garbage in equals garbage out and no one up the chain of command is getting a TRUE comprehension of what my employees do.

        Anybody from HAA want to chime in on this?

        Wicked Farmer


        • #5
          Is this not exactly the items that HHA and other Associations were created to assist with? i would think this would be a prime example of something they should fight for. Yes there is a risk involved with running a haunt (why else would we need insurance) but it's most definitely not the same as operating a moving ride or having live animals on site. Though at the same point, as someone who works in theater full time (and Amusement Parks also) what we do is not just a performance on the stage with little to no interactivity with the crowd. The codes don't recognize that but that's a failure of the code, not the insurance agent trying to make more money on you.


          • #6
            Workmans comp rates...classification?

            I would imagine if you are calling for the HAA to assist that you are members. If so you should go to the website and there is contact info. I'm sure none of the board is watching the forum here as most will be building their own haunts right now as well.
            Brian Warner
            Owner of Evilusions
            Technical Director of Forsaken Haunted House
            Mechanical Designer (animatronics) at Gore Galore


            • #7
              The codes don't recognize that but that's a failure of the code, not the insurance agent trying to make more money on you.[/QUOTE]

              Actually; there is code (Michigan code) I think I fall into; they just insist I am not qualifiying for it IN THEIR MINDS as it is for "professionals only or "theatres only".....and I say "Did you even read it? I quote back to them the words for entertainers being "at all kinds of locations". The character in costume at the amusement park, the concession stand operator, and so on are rated LESS risky than the one operating the rides. The code for these high risk attractions they are trying to put me in SPECIFICALLY LISTS entertainers as being rated elsewhere. But they try to say Entertainers is only for theatre. How f'n stupid are they! To believe as they do...that would mean a canoe livery has a live theatre on site as well that they can rate those employees separate.

              Wicked Farmer


              • #8
                The problem is...

                they got caught and are trying to buffalo their way through it. They thought jacking some dumb farmer or haunter around was of no consequence and easy to steer the ignorant through mumbo jumbo. But; they picked the wrong dumb dirt farmer to start this with. They didn't realize they stumbled onto a guy who includes a letter to IRS telling them how they screwed up his correct tax form four years in a row saying I owed more then I explain to them 4 years in a row how they are wrong then send me a correction as I had it to start with. They ran into a guy who was taken to court over an ad I refused to pay for haunt. It was day before thanksgiving and the magistrate had several cases ahead of me and sat there in court room watching the other "Judge judy" cases unfold. It became apparent the magistrate was hell bent on getting out of Dodge for Thanksgiving. Can't blame him because some cases were really so bad it was hartd not to laugh there in the court room) So; I set out to make sure I got enough into record so I could appeal what I expected to be a rush job against me. It was. So; I wrote my appeal thrashing that SOB so bad when I got my appeal date I was kind of nervous they might throw me in jail for thrashing him and explaining the letter of the law to a magistrate. I got an official apology from the court! I do not think many get that...(Brett they). And won my case.

                They couldn't have picked a better guy to try to run this BS over on.

                Wicked Farmer


                • #9

                  I just read over my policy and this is what my actors were classified as 9016. (5.03 is the rate)

                  9016-0 AMUSEMENT OR RECREATIONAL FACILITIES – N.O.C. – all employees other than those engaged in the operation or maintenance of merry-go-rounds, swings, roller coasters or other amusement devices and ticket collectors connected therewith – including care, custody
                  and maintenance of premises; operation of elevators or heating, lighting or power apparatus – including police, watchpersons, musicians, box office employees, ticket sellers or gate attendants 9016(1)
                  This classification applies to the operation of amusement and recreational facilities including, but not limited to, miniature golf courses, batting cages, bumper car facilities, archery ranges, water excursions/tours, laser tag facilities, and water parks.

                  My year round staff were classified as 9180-0 (rate 7.68)
                  AMUSEMENT OR RECREATIONAL FACILITIES – N.O.C. – operation and maintenance of merry-go-rounds, swings, roller coasters or other amusement devices not specifically classified – including ticket collectors connected therewith

                  My kitchen staff was classified as 9083 (rate 2.40)

                  This classification includes the operation and maintenance of amusement devices at amusement or recreational facilities, batting cage operations, rafting and kayaking expeditions, wilderness expeditions, motorsports operations, and ski instructors, ski patrol personnel and employees engaged in ski trail grooming at ski resort locations that exclusively provide Nordic or cross-country skiing activities.

                  Last edited by twohlgemuth; 07-26-2015, 12:20 PM.
                  Tony Wohlgemuth,
                  Comes up with the fun stuff!
                  Kersey Valley, Inc.


                  • #10
                    North Carolina

                    See you are in North Carolina. I think; but not sure; each state is a little different.


                    • #11
                      Get your policies out..

                      Lets compare notes.

                      Wicked Farmer


                      • #12
                        The latest...

                        Insurance agent called me. "Nothing they can do". It is not us it is the company above us. Doesn't matter what wording says it is what company decides. I am going to try to get through to "the higher company". But I think I might have a better chance of finding a real ghost in my haunt than finding somebody who can do something sensible. Maybe I'll go looking for the guy who killed himself in the swamp behind our haunt about 80 years ago and they didn't find until the buzzards were on him. He should be easier to find. Maybe we will have a beer or some spirits together.

                        Wicked Farmer


                        • #13

                          the problem seems to be Actors and you hiring them. Can you create a Professional acting troop ( Under a different LLC name) that your farm hires to put on performances each night? Look at it as you hiring a band or singers.
                          Then your acting troops is labeled just that. Then, you get insurance through just the acting troop (they are all professional actors now) and different insurance for your location, like live performance or somthing...? I dono.. I'm just spit balling. might spark something.

                          Sorry.. Hope it works out.

                          Peter T
                          Fables Studios
                          Your Home For Horror



                          • #14
                            Go through bother of setting up another LLC..

                            OMG! That is getting absurd. When the auditor comes I'm going to run that by him. It is getting to point I'm almost ready to be as big a pain in the arse as they are.

                            Wicked Farmer