Farm Credit
Nov 08 2016

Ag Community Seeks Self-Insured Group for WCC

wc_sig_nmcga_brochureNew Mexico law now clearly requires that agricultural producers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, according to New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association (NMCGA) President Pat Boone, Elida.

“While there may be some attempt to change things in the 2017 Legislature,” Boone said, “agricultural businesses are required to have the coverage NOW.”

Workers’ comp insurance for the ranching industry can be as low as $9.00 to $11.00 per $100 of wages, Boone reported, but after one claim, ranchers are paying $18 per $100 and higher in the state’s high risk pool. It is less for farms, but it is still a hit that nobody can afford to take.

“One of the only ways that we can see to contain costs is by creating a self-insured fund for New Mexico agriculture,” he explained. “To that end, the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association (NMCGA) has initiated an effort to get that fund in place.”

Among the benefits of a self-insured fund are strict underwriting guide-lines, strong risk management, loss control, comprehensive safety services with claims oversight and aggressive claims handling, Boone said.

“While the NMCGA has commissioned a feasibility study, the Association does not intend to be the only part of our agricultural community in the project,” Boone noted. “We are modeling our efforts after the highly successful Nevada agriculture self-insured fund that includes all types of agriculture that came together for the benefit of all. The Board governing the fund will be representatives of as many of New Mexico agriculture groups that wish to participate.”

To make this fund a reality, there is a need for data from individual ranchers and farmers. This data will be collected in a computer portal created for each individual who provides information to get the project off the ground. Only the office transmitting the data to the actuary and the actuary will have access to the information.

“Without people willing to assist in the feasibility study, a self-insured group will not be feasible or possible,” Boone said.

If you are willing to help out by providing some of the information necessary to create a self-insured group, please call the NMCGA office at 505.247.0584 or email nmcga@nmagriculture.com for a list of items necessary and to create your private personal computer portal. All information is strictly confidential.