Considering a Large Deductible Program? Learn the Details Here!

Large Ded Blog

A large deductible program can have many benefits for an employer and works like a traditional guaranteed cost plan with a special deductible endorsement. It is designed for large employers that have the capacity to shoulder some risk and be responsible for a portion of their losses.  The size of the deductible for these plans is generally in a range from $100,000 to $1,000,000 per occurrence. Here, we will highlight program specifics, advantages and disadvantages, and deductible plan options so that employers can have a true understanding of large deductible plans as a whole.

Program advantages

  • Reduction in the up-front premium improves cash flow and has potential tax savings
  • Goal is to have premium savings which will exceed that of the claim costs in a given year
  • Retains the services of an insurance carrier
  • Rewards insured for maintaining an effective risk control program
  • Catastrophic per accident/occurrence loss limitation is included in the structure of the plan and protects employer from higher-than-expected claim costs

 Program disadvantages

  • Poor loss experience can create an ultimate cost that is greater than a guaranteed cost plan
  • Unpredictable timing of deductible reimbursements as they are made as claim costs are realized
    and billed
  • Financial security required
  • Numerous years of deductible policies may stack collateral and affect available lines of credit

Understanding large deductible collateral

Large deductible collateral serves as a secondary payment mechanism in the event of default or non-payment by the insured of the deductible. It is a secondary requirement that is only activated if the insured defaults on their program commitments. Since claim costs that fall within the deductible are paid by the insurer and reimbursed by the insured, collateral is needed to secure the promise of reimbursement. Insurers are in the business of underwriting risks, not taking financial risks. The collateral is generally set to match the loss forecast within the deductible and is based solely on what the insured is expected to have to pay.  Sometimes it can be discounted and sometimes surcharged depending on the financial condition of the insured. 

What is a pre-funded deductible plan?

These plans function similarly to a traditional large deductible. However, the method of collateralization is different. In the case of a pre-funded deductible, the insured is required to remit cash in the amount of the estimated loss reimbursements. This fund is used to secure the estimated liabilities and acts as a “working fund” to cover monthly reimbursements. Employers are able to avoid putting up collateral such as a letter of credit using this product.

A large deductible program can provide a company with cash flow benefits that translates into a competitive advantage over their peers.  Communicating the benefits of this program will demonstrate an expertise and secure a long term partnership with your client.  For more information on PMA’s insurance services, please contact your broker or visit our website at

Jeanne Consiglio, Vice President, Northeast Region

Jeanne Consiglio is the Vice President of Northeast Region insurance operations of PMA Companies. With more than 25 years of experience in the commercial insurance field, she is responsible for expanding PMA's presence and generating profitable business growth by working closely with brokers and agents throughout New England.