header image

Frequently Asked Questions 

General Worker's Compensation: 

What is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

It protects employers from liability for on-the-job injury or illness and provides the following:

  • Legal representation for the employer by the insurance carrier
  • Protection for the employer against most lawsuits for on-the-job injuries/illnesses
  • Payment of medical services needed to treat the job injury or illness
  • Temporary payments to the employee to help replace lost wages
  • Payments to the employee to compensate for permanent effects of the injury
  • A death benefit for the employee’s survivors in the event of a fatal injury

Who Is Covered?

  • All employees. Don't forget - if you provide housing, that is also considered payroll and subject to premium charges.
  • Officers of a corporation are legally considered employees of that corporation and are automatically included in coverage.
    • However, corporations with one to two corporate officers owning 100% of the shares with each officer owning at least 1 share can elect to exclude one or both officers from coverage.
  • Children over the age of 18 related to an owner
  • Anyone who does work for your business for any length of time is covered by the workers' compensation policy. This even includes self-employed subcontractors who are typically hired to do custom work.
    • If you do hire an independent contractor, be sure to get a Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance from them and keep it on file. Otherwise, you could be charged a premium for the contracted amount.

Who Is Not Covered?

  • Sole proprietors, partners, members of an LLC are automatically excluded from coverage.
  • Spouses and minor children under the age of 18

Note: The employer is required to post notice of compliance with New York State Workers' Compensation Law in a common area in both English and Spanish. 

Do Farmers Need Workers' Compensation?

Coverage is mandatory: All employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees regardless of annual payroll.

Posters must be displayed in English and Spanish: Employers are required to post the mandatory workers’ compensation notice of compliance poster in both English and Spanish. Employers get these posters from their insurance carrier, or, if self-insured, from the Workers’ Compensation Board by emailing Certificates@wcb.ny.gov.

Do Farmers Need NY Disability Insurance?

Farm employers, owners and operators are required to provide disability benefits and NY Paid Family Leave coverage to eligible farm laborers. For more information, call our office at 1-800-342-4143 or the Workers’ Compensation Board at 1-800-628-3331.

Safety Group 486: 

Who is eligible to join Safety Group 486?

Any New York Farm Bureau member whose operation fits into one or more of the following categories:

Code - Classification

0005 - Nurserymen And Sod Farmers

0006 - Farms Noc & Drivers (Includes livestock, crops and breeding)

0007 - Fruit Farms & Drivers

0031 - Vegetable, Berry, Or Grape & Drivers

0034 - Poultry & Drivers, Apiary & Drivers 

0035 - Florist, Cultivate Or Garden, & Drivers

0050 - Farm Machinery Contractors

2014 - Feed Manufacturing Or Grain Milling

2105 - Fruit Packing

2121 - Breweries & Drivers *Must have farm payroll to be eligible 

2143 - Fruit Juice Manufacturing Or Winery

2157 - Bottling Noc & Drivers (Distillery) *Must have farm payroll to be eligible 

7201 - Livery/Boarding/Horse Show Stable & Drivers

7207 - Riding Academies

8102 - Seed Merchants

8116 - Farm Machinery Dealers

8199 - Feed Or Farm Supply Dealer - Retail

8209 - Vegetable Packing & Drivers

8215 - Hay, Grain, Feed Dealers & Drivers

8288 - Livestock Sales

How much does it cost?

Call 1-800-342-4143 or use the Get a Quote form today! We can then tell you how much the policy will cost you.

Being a member of the New York Farm Bureau Safety Group 486 also means that you may be eligible for a 25% up-front discount and an annual dividend.  The dividend is a return of premium that is left over at the end of the year after paying the claims and losses for the group, and the reserves are calculated.

What Is The Safety Group 486 Dividend History?











Average Dividend =42%

*Future dividends are not guaranteed.

What Is the "Group Managers' Fee"?

While New York Farm Bureau membership is a requirement of participation, Safety Group 486 is not supported by the New York Farm Bureau membership dues. Because of this, a Group Managers’ Fee is billed to policyholders of Safety Group 486 by New York Farm Bureau Member Services Inc. to cover the administrative costs of running the group.  Beginning with the 2023 policy year, the fee is 10% of the NYSIF (New York State Insurance Fund) Total Modified Premium (previously 8.5% of the NYSIF Base Premium).  NYSIF instituted a change that requires all Saftey Groups to calculate Group Managers’ Fee on Modified Premium instead of Base Premium, which included an additional Expense Constant.

  1. New policies are invoiced for Group Managers’ Fee from NY Farm Bureau Member Services Inc. when the declaration is issued. Because the policy is written from the effective date to the shared group anniversary date of 12/31, the initial Group Managers’ Fee will be prorated or adjusted accordingly.

  2. For renewal policies, the initial Group Mangers’ Fee invoice is billed in January and is payable upon receipt to NY Farm Bureau Member Services Inc..

  3. Group Managers’ Fees are billed twice yearly – once upon policy issuance or renewal and again when the audit or report for the prior year is completed.

  4. Payment options are based on Group Manager Fee levels –

    • Policies with a Group Manager Fee of $1 to $5,000; 100% of the Group Managers fee is due upon receipt of the invoice.

    • Policies with a Group Manager Fee $5,001 and higher will be billed 50% upon receipt of the invoice. The remaining 50% will be billed in May.

Please contact our office at 1-800-342-4143 if you require additional payment options or have any questions. 

What does the Group Managers' Fee cover?

  • We pre-qualify each applicant to ensure that NYFB Safety Group 486 is the best choice for the member and the member is a good financial risk for Safety Group 486.
  • We manage the program. We have immediate access to all policy information and are available to answer all questions.
  • Our licensed, professional staff has direct access to New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) so we may view your policy activity at any time, as well as a direct line to NYSIF personnel.
  • We handle all day-to-day operations of the Group including oversight of claims and the financial well-being for the entire group.
  • We represent the interests of the policyholder with NYSIF. We review individual policyholder claims, loss of discounts, or potential removal from the group for various reasons.
  • We ensure that all participants in Safety Group 486 are active NYFB members and eligible for the group.

How do I get a policy started?

If you are not currently with the New York State Insurance Fund:

  1. Call 1-800-342-4143 for a premium quote or click on Get A Quote and complete the form.
  2. A quote and application packet will be emailed to you, if eligible.
  3. Download and complete NYSIF Workers’ Compensation application, Group Authorization and NYFB Memorandum of Understanding. Or, an electronic application can be submitted. Signature and payment must be made electronically.
  4. Applications must be postmarked before the desired effective date of coverage.
  5. Send the complete application packet and premium deposit check (made payable to New York State Insurance Fund) to:
New York Farm Bureau
Member Services Inc.
159 Wolf Road, Suite 300
Albany NY 12205-0330

Note: New York Farm Bureau Member Services Inc. cannot bind coverage. Typically, coverage is effective the day after the completed application and deposit are received in this office. However, only the insurance carrier, the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF), can bind coverage and confirm the effective date of coverage.

If you are currently with NYSIF, contact our office at least 30-60 days prior to the anniversary date to see if your policy is eligible for transfer into NYFB Safety Group 486. (If eligible, simply sign and return the Group Authorization and Memorandum of Understanding 30 days before the anniversary date. The policy will then be transferred into NYFB Safety Group 486 and the policy issued from the current anniversary date to the Group anniversary date of December 31.)

How will I be billed?

 A policy is first billed using the estimated payroll figures given by the client on the original application. The annual premium is usually broken down in one of four ways:

Annual Premium Amount

Payment Plan

Less than $1,000

100% due upon renewal

$1,000 - $10,000

25% due upon renewal, 9 monthly installments

Over $10,000

25% due upon renewal, 9 monthly installments, or

Over $10,000

12 equal monthly installments

New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) does charge a $10 service fee for any debit balance each month. If the policy carries a credit balance, the service charge will not be applied.

The Group Managers' Fee will be billed separately by the New York Farm Bureau Member Services Inc. once the policy is issued. The Group Managers’ Fee is typically billed upon the annual renewal and adjusted by an audit.

The policy period for Safety Group 486 runs from December 31 to December 31. Renewals are issued approximately 45 days in advance and the initial payment should be made prior to January 1 for the coming year. During the months of January, February and March, the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) will mail policyholders payroll reports or schedule audit appointments. This is when the actual payroll for the prior year is recorded and the account is then adjusted. If the payroll was higher than estimated, an additional premium could be due. If the payroll was lower than estimated, then there may be a credit.

All first-year policies are subject to a physical audit to verify not only payroll amounts but that the policy is properly classified. Policies with an annual premium over $10,000 are subject to an annual audit. All others could be physically audited every 3 years.

It is very important that the payroll information is reported accurately and on time. Failure to have an audit or return a payroll report may result in an increase in premium, the loss of the upfront discount and may also delay the return of the dividend.