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A Refresher on Classifying Businesses

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A Refresher on Classifying Businesses

February 8, 2017

The goal when classifying a policyholder’s business is to determine which classification(s) best describe its operations based on the rules found in Part 3 of the California Workers' Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan1995 (USRP). But how do you ensure that you are applying the right classification to a business especially when workplace processes keep changing as industries evolve? Here are some tips and online resources available to help.

  • Gather as much information as you can
    Ask key questions to better understand how the policyholder’s business operates: How does the policyholder generate revenue? What products or services do they offer? Does the policyholder have more than one insured entity and/or multiple locations? Has the policyholder been previously inspected by the WCIRB and if so, have the operations changed since the time of the inspection?
  • Consult the rules and provisions of the USRP
    The majority of businesses are described by specific classifications, but there are exceptions which are found in Part 3 of the USRP. Familiarize yourself with the rules governing the Standard Classification System, including Single Enterprise and Multiple Enterprises, Standard Exceptions and the concept of assignment by analogy. There are also Special Industry classification procedures that apply to certain industries such as construction, electronics and aircraft operations. Once you know the rules, you will have a better understanding of why businesses are assigned to certain classifications. View the USRP here>
  • Find the right classification with the Classification Search tool on
    Using the information that you have already gathered about the business, go to the Classification Search tool on and enter keywords related to the business to find classifications that best describe its operations. The Classification Search tool lists classifications by phraseology and classification code, and each classification record includes complete phraseologies, footnotes, related rules and advisory pure premium rate values.
  • View the Classification Inspection Report via WCIRB Connect
    If you are a WCIRB Connect user, you can check if the policyholder’s business has been previously inspected by the WCIRB and if so, view their WCIRB Classification Inspection Report, provided the policyholder has granted you authorization. The Classification Inspection Report includes a description of the policyholder’s operations, as well as the classification(s) that the WCIRB assigned at the time of inspection. Go to WCIRB Connect>

For more information on classification, take advantage of WCIRB’s educational resources:

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