When I was first contacted by Intuit about their 'new' Pay-as-You-Go Workers' Compensation offering I must admit that I wasn't too interested because I have previously written about the program, and I didn't see that the expansion of the offering into the QuickBooks Online ecosystem was 'that big a deal'. But then as I found out more, I thought this to be a valuable topic for our readers.
The new platform simplifies workers compensation insurance payments for small businesses, making it possible for them to select a pay-as-you-go option from 20 top insurance providers. Additionally, premiums are calculated in real-time based on QuickBooks payroll data. That's a big change, going from one insurance carrier, the Hartford, to 20 carriers.
This new process works with all Intuit payroll platforms and replaces the "Hartford only" process of a “manual application”. The Hartford manual application policyholders have already been converted to the new process.
The payroll link for this new platform is enabled automatically after the payroll customer accepts the Terms of Service via the online registration form. Beginning with the next payroll following the acceptance of the terms, the payroll data is sent to the insurance provider automatically without any intervention by the payroll customer.
For desktop payroll customers there is a one-time setup to enable desktop payroll where the payroll customer makes a selection in QuickBooks Desktop Payroll to send workers comp data to the Intuit cloud. Then, each pay cycle the payroll customer clicks a radio button in QuickBooks to send the data.
This new platform acts strictly as a payroll reporting and payment service allowing customers to pay their workers comp insurance premium as they pay payroll. Intuit has partnered with these insurance carriers to automatically provide the payroll data for premium calculation and collection. The platform will send the applicable payroll data to only the insurance carrier that has issued the policy to the Intuit payroll customer.
Intuit payroll customers must already have workers' compensation coverage from one of the participating carriers. If they do not meet this criteria, they can not sign-up directly through the platform. There is no provision for obtaining a quotation via your payroll data. Intuit does provide a link to a brokerage that can obtain quotations for a payroll customer if they do not already have coverage from a participating carrier.
Automation of the pay-as-you-go premium methodology using the new platform means no extra steps to calculate and process payments, fewer late payment (and the potential risk of coverage suspension or cancellation) and no manual audit forms. Premiums are calculated every pay period instead of on an annual basis, and employee or position responsibility changes are built into the automated reporting. This process also levels out a small businesses cash-flow since there are no more lump sum pre-payments of annual premiums or retro-rated premiums based upon unreported history.
Some of the carriers participating in this new platform include: The Hartford, Farmers, Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies, Eastern Alliance Insurance Group, CNA, EMPLOYERS, Markel FirstComp, ERIE Insurance, The MEMIC Group, and The Hanover Insurance Group.
As you can see this is a lot more in the way of a "platform" than the earlier 'program', it streamlines an essential requirement that plagues every small business with employees, and attempts to make the processing of reporting and payments requirements associated with necessary workers' compensation coverage as painless as possible. Way to go Intuit for taking a good little program and making it bigger and better.