Helping an Agribusiness Client Launch a New Company
A California-based grower – shipper with retail, wholesale and food service customers worldwide. They control the entire process – seed to sale – in order to ensure consistent high-quality produce year round.
Our client needed additional workers to support their staff in one of their packing sheds and had approached a large harvesting company to create a Farm Labor Contractor (FLC) entity specifically for this facility. Because both sets of employees would be working in close proximity to one another, the FLC employees needed to have comparable quality health insurance and workers’ compensation coverage to the grower-shipper. The crop harvest calendar is unforgiving and time was of the essence to get the FLC operating, and to complicate matters we learned the licensing paperwork had been languishing for months with their outside attorney.
The Solution and Results
- Health Insurance – We had developed a tailored self-funded program for the grower-shipper. The harvesting company’s FLC would not be large enough for that type of structure, but with our agribusiness market knowledge and relationships, we were able to design and place a guaranteed cost program that closely mirrored our client’s coverage terms and conditions. We successfully negotiated a premium with the carrier that was more than 30% below standard rates for a new FLC of this size, creating a savings of $150,000.
- Workers’ Compensation – Our client has been a long-term participant in an Ascension sponsored group captive insurance company and their preference was that the new FLC also secure coverage from the captive. Unlike the traditional insurance carrier marketplace, captive candidates need to apply to and be accepted by the existing captive members. A key selection criteria is an applicant’s commitment to operating a safe workplace. To help achieve that we first provided recommendations on hiring experienced Field Management, Safety and H/R staff. We then committed our loss control consulting experts to work with them to build a quality safety program from the ground up. The captive members recognized the FLC was a stellar safety organization and the FLC was voted in.Had the FLC been limited to the conventional market, their likeliest carrier would have been the state fund at rates in the range of $18-20 per $100 of payroll. Their premium rate in the captive was approximately half that which resulted in premium savings of over $1 million. An FLC’s biggest expense is typically insurance, and this meaningful cost reduction helped launch them on firm financial footing.
- Licensing – To overcome the processing bottleneck, our account management team stepped in, retrieved the paperwork from the lawyer and expedited the license issuance in less than two weeks.
Our agricultural industry knowledge, insurance expertise, loss control capabilities and above all, sense of urgency yielded a great result. From start to finish, this entire process took under a month.
- Employee benefits design, negotiation and placement
- Benefits communications
- Open enrollment support
- Loss control consulting
- Workers’ compensation captive placement
- FLC licensing support