Applied Underwriters Insurance Company Review

The pros, cons and what you need to know
Ann Herro, Insurance Expert Written by Ann Herro
Ann Herro, Insurance Expert
Written by Ann Herro

Ann Herro has been writing about insurance and employee benefits for over 15 years. She has covered topics as easy as insuring a car, and as difficult as transparency in healthcare costs.


Applied Underwriters at a Glance

  • Founded in the early 1990s
  • Backed by Berkshire Hathaway Companies
  • Applied Underwriters is a national insurance company licensed in all states
  • Focused on a variety of small to mid-sized companies with 3 or more employees
  • A (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best
  • A+ rating from the BBB
  • Works with independent insurance agents

Applied Underwriters Pros: Applied Underwriters is unique in that it combines financial and business services with workers' compensation coverage. The company is financially stable, with the backing of Berkshire Hathaway Companies and an A (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best. The carrier offers affordable rates on most class codes. Applied Underwriters sells workers’ compensation insurance through independent insurance agents.

Applied Underwriters Cons: Combining workers’ compensation insurance with other business services increases the potential for negative customer interactions in one area of operations or another. The carrier has numerous negative online reviews that may be difficult to overcome, even if it offers a solid insurance product and unique options.

What Types of Insurance Does Applied Underwriters Offer?

Applied Underwriters offers workers’ compensation insurance and other complementary business services for small to mid-size employers like painters, carpenters, dump truck operators, long haul truckers, manufacturers, restaurants, and retailers. The carrier also offers workers’ compensation for larger corporations. It offers a range of products and services, including the following brand-specific programs:

  • SolutionOne: Delivers workers' compensation insurance, payroll processing, risk reduction programs, and employer extended coverages.
  • EquityComp: Designed for companies with premiums in excess of $250,000 that seek flexible risk financing.
  • JumboGC: Designed for companies with annual payroll in excess of $2,000,000 that desire the certainty of a guaranteed cost program. JumboGC is a convenient and competitively priced way to fix insurance cost for a twelve-month period. 

This is not an exhaustive list of acceptable risks or types of programs available for Applied Underwriters’ workers’ compensation customers. The best way to know about all of the carrier’s options and know what’s right for your business is to work with an independent insurance agent in your state.

Using our insurance company directory can help you find the best insurance companies that specialize in your specific coverage needs. The company directory can also help you get connected to an agent near you.

What to Know about Applied Underwriters

Applied Underwriters was founded in the early 1990s to offer creative risk management options for premiums greater than $250,000. The carrier is backed by Berkshire Hathaway Companies and has evolved over time to take advantage of the key features of both retro and self-insured captive arrangements. The company also boasts:

  • A 92% customer retention rate
  • The lowest case load average per adjuster in the industry
  • 24-hour contact commitment on claims
  • In-house pharmacy to help manage medical costs

Applied Underwriters prides itself on innovation and its unique approach to combining financial and business services (e.g., payroll services) with workers’ compensation coverage. Applied Underwriters also promises to never outsource its operations, allowing for greater control over procedures and overall quality of interactions.

What Discounts Does Applied Underwriters Offer?

Applied underwriters does not specify the policy credits and discounts that it offers, and these certainly may vary by state as well, depending on each state’s workers’ compensation rules and rating policies. The carrier does say, “Safety conscious organizations have a significant potential to save a significant amount of money compared to traditional first dollar coverage options. We also offer a 3-year rate lock on class code rating which improves predictability.”

Applied Underwriters Customer Service

Here's what to know about customer service options for Applied Underwriters:

  • Phone, mail, and email customer service options
  • Claim reporting by phone
  • Help finding an agent by phone


Monday-Friday Unknown

Saturday Unknown

Sunday Unknown

You can get personalized service by working with your independent insurance agent. If you have questions or concerns about your policy, an independent agent can advocate on your behalf.


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Applied Underwriters FAQ

What is Applied Underwriters’ average claims response time frame?

Applied Underwriters promises a 24-hour contact commitment for every claim. The company also states that its claims closure rate has been 2.5 times faster than the industry average for the past 5 accident years. The carrier assigns low caseload numbers to its adjusters, allowing them to better manage claims and close them quickly.

What is Applied Underwriters’ customer service availability?

Applied Underwriters provides little information about its customer service availability. Customers may make inquiries via phone, email, or mail. Claims can be filed by mail as well. For the best service, work with your independent insurance agent.

What is Applied Underwriters’ claims process?

Applied Underwriters states that the carrier is dedicated to closing claims quickly, fairly, and effectively.

  • Injured workers will receive medical care through the company’s approved medical providers, who will help them get back to work as quickly as possible. The carrier works hard to pay benefits accurately and on time, and claims adjusters are available to respond to questions and concerns.
  • Employers will appreciate that Applied Underwriters closes claims much faster than the industry average, ultimately costing less for the employer over time.

Applied Underwriters provides ongoing in-house, customized training for its claims adjusters in the areas of workers’ compensation law, medicine, and technology.

Does Applied Underwriters create a user-friendly experience for customers?

Applied Underwriters has a minimally informative website with little customer service availability or ability for customers to interact. Customers and prospects will clearly find out more about the company by working closely with an independent insurance agent.

Complaints and negative reviews about the company's service are abundant.

Does Applied Underwriters have good workers’ compensation insurance?

In addition to offering work comp plans for various employer sizes and funding arrangements, Applied Underwriters also offers unique pharmacy services and return-to-work programs. And the carrier’s loss control programs are designed to help businesses identify and eliminate potentially harmful conditions that could otherwise result in significant losses.

In terms of its product offerings, it appears that Applied Underwriters offers some unique product characteristics that may make it attractive for certain businesses or those in certain class codes.

Is Applied Underwriters a good insurance company?

Applied Underwriters has the backing of Berkshire Hathaway Companies and has received high ratings from A.M. Best and the BBB. Despite that, it’s somewhat difficult to see the big picture for this carrier, as it boasts of superior customer service and claims processing, while many customer reviews state the opposite. Many complaints revolve around the company’s peripheral payroll processing offerings.

Applied Underwriters Customer Reviews

“Worst workers' comp insurance company ever. Very poor claim negotiation management results, poor communications. And huge additional charges towards the end of the contract to slam you with premiums related to the inflated LDFs arbitrarily assigned.”

5 Stars
“We worked with Applied for a number of years, was not always sure of their business model, but was most impressed with one of the employees we did work with. He is undoubtedly one of the most professional and honest underwriters I have ever worked with.”

5 Stars
“We haven't had any issues with the workers' comp. Rates seem pretty fair and cross your fingers we haven't had any claims in the past few years.”

“This is the absolute bottom of the barrel company. This company will go as low as it gets to get their money. Do not ever be tempted to do business with them by the promise of low rates on comp. The fees and hassle will never be worth it.”

“My experience with Applied Underwriters was awful. They hook new clients with competitive quotes for workers' comp insurance. What they do not tell you is that your employees cease to be your employees and as a result certain payroll taxes are charged for a second time. When it came to resolving the issue, their customer service accepted no responsibility. Eventually, we had to go to arbitration in order to force them to return payroll taxes that were not payable. One of the worst business experiences I have ever had. I would not recommend Applied Underwriters to anyone.”'s Final Review

We award Applied Underwriters a final rating of 2.1 out of 5 stars. To begin with, Applied Underwriters has a strong parent company and high ratings from A.M. Best and the BBB. These high ratings speak to the carrier’s financial strength and ability to pay claims, one of the most important factors in choosing any kind of insurance company.

But the company’s online reviews do not closely match up with its customer service commitments, which make us hesitate to strongly recommend it for workers’ compensation coverage. Instead, if you’re interested in Applied Underwriters for workers’ compensation insurance, contact an independent insurance agent, who can help you learn more about the company.

An independent agent can also help you get quotes from multiple workers’ compensation carriers, so you can decide if Applied Underwriters or another workers’ compensation carrier is best for your needs.

Use our Trusted Choice carrier directory to find the best insurance companies that meet your needs. You can locate companies that specialize in your specific coverage needs and get connected to an independent insurance agent near you.

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