What’s it mean when somebody asks you for a EMR or E-Mod letter?

A question often asked! So I thought I’d take a minute and let you know what’s behind the curtains when a company wanting to hire your company asks for your EMR or a EMod letter.

If your company works for a larger contracting company, the government, a part of the government, another company, a general contractor or just about any other entity or company that’s hiring someone like you to do work for them…they will always want to have you provide them with documentation of your company EMR. These entities look at your EMR as proof that you provide a safe workplace for your employees. They will often use your EMR as a qualifier when choosing who they will allow to work for them as a subcontractor.

If you are trying to secure work from some type of government entity like a state, city or town, you’ll normally find in their bid specs their acceptable EMR number. Frankly, I’ve never seen a EMR over 1.0 on an acceptable list. I’m sure in some circumstances it has but I’ve never seen it done. Just another reason to do everything you can to keep control over your workers compensation loss experience! But that topic is for another blog.

The request for a EMR letter often comes somewhere during the qualification period. That’s the time when the hiring entity is either trying to decide who to hire for the job after the bids have been secured or in the pre bid qualification period when they are trying to decide who can actually bid on the job.

It’s often at this time our firm receives a call from the subcontractor asking how they can go about getting a copy of their EMR letter. It’s also at this time that we learn that the employer either hasn’t been taught by their insurance agent about the entire process surrounding experience rating of workers compensation programs and are unfamiliar with the term EMR or EMod or that the employer’s company has not qualified for experience rating.

Here’s a couple of points:

  • If you are a company who’s been asked to provide your EMR during a bidding process and have no idea of what they are talking about it probably means that your company is not experience rated. Go to the section on our website about experience rating and the EMR to learn more about this important rating factor and how it can affect your company.
  • If your company is experience rated and therefore subject to an EMR be sure to contact your insurance agent to provide you with a copy of your current EMR. This can then be passed along to whoever it is requiring a copy.

So as a recap, when someone asks you for your EMR letter, they will normally accept:

  • A letter from your insurance agent or whatever company provides your workers compensation insurance indicating your current EMR number.
  • A copy of your EMR worksheet provided to you by the rating bureau or advisory organization that produces your experience rating factor.

A final parting shot on this topic. Just because your company may not be currently experience rated doesn’t mean that you don’t have a factor. It’s not apparent but in fact, every employer has one. For those of you who do not qualify for actual experience rating that factor is known as unity or in numerical terms, 1.0.

Hope this helps you out! And thanks for reading!

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