Insurance Protection

Tips for Managing Employer’s Risk during COVID

COVID-19 has changed all of our lives in ways we could not have imagined. These changes have occurred both at home and at work. The changes within the workplace have brought about many questions from business owners and safety personnel from an insurance standpoint. The Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau (PCRB) has published two circulars that begin to address these questions. Circulars 1737 and 1738 can be found on its website at An outline of their content has been provided below. The safety of employees, customers, and vendors is paramount during these challenging times, so OSHA has also provided numerous resources to help businessowners implement and monitor proper safety protocols.

Circular 1737

This circular discusses the new coding values that have been created for COVID-19. It states the, “Statistical Plan revision establishes new coding values for use in recording and tracking losses applicable and/or attributable to the Coronavirus Disease.” The revision has been in effect since April 1, 2020 and includes the reporting of claims with accident dates of December 1, 2019 to present.

Circular 1738

This circular provides answers to the most common questions received by the PCRB. Topics discussed include:

  • Payroll/Premium Handling: Changes that may occur to class codes due to work at home orders. It is important to note that the basic manual emphasizes the importance of “maintaining separate payroll records for any change in operation or wages earned for employees where work has changed.”
  • Premium Audit
  • Policy Cancellations & Non-Renewals
  • Claims Handling/Reporting
  • General Topics
    • Claims Compensability
    • Experience and merit rating, loss costs (the use of proper coding & reporting)
    • PA guidance

Workplace Safety and OSHA

OSHA requires employers to provide a safe workplace, free of hazards, for their employees. On its website,, OSHA provides COVID-19 Tips of the Day, Coronavirus Resources as well as simulated safety videos for certain industries demonstrating safe work practices.

Green Phase Safety Reminders

  • Employees are eager to return to their jobs and begin working. Many of these employees have been idle during the pandemic, greatly increasing the potential for sprain and strain injuries. Remind your employees to stretch prior to work activities and to stay hydrated, especially when working outdoors.
  • Review your company’s safety policies and procedures with all returning employees to remind them of your company’s commitment to safety.
  • Employees may look for ways to make up for wages lost during the pandemic. Monitor overtime offered by your company and remind your employees to inform you of additional employment they may be currently undertaking. Employees without proper rest have an increased risk of an unsafe act.
  • Above all, continue to abide by the recommendations offered by the CDC.

At Univest Insurance, we believe it is important for our clients to have a resource to proactively work with to minimize your risk. This is why we have in-house loss control services that evaluate a business and then advise on the many approaches to reducing risk. A customized plan is created with the goal of minimizing risk, improving profitability and maintaining compliance.

By partnering with Univest Insurance you aren’t simply purchasing an insurance policy, you are working with an agency that has your best interests in mind. If we can help one company keep their employees safer and prevent a loss, we have done our job. To have a conversation about how we can help your business control its risk, call us at 215-362-7000.


Insurance products offered through Univest Insurance, LLC, a licensed insurance agency affiliate of Univest Financial Corporation, are obligations of and underwritten by unaffiliated insurance companies. They are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits of or guaranteed by any bank.