Nationwide Commercial Premium Audit services

Providing solutions to help our members right-size their risk.

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Audit overview

At Nationwide, we see conducting a premium audit as a necessary step in keeping your business’ insurance at the right level. When a new policy or renewal is originally set up, the premium paid is based on an estimated amount of exposure, such as payroll or gross sales. After the first policy period has expired, we can more accurately price based on actual exposure for the policy period. This is especially important for insurance needs that change throughout the year.

Complying with the audit is important to avoid any unnecessary noncompliance charges. Please reference BR9955 or ST7115 in your new business or renewal packet for more detailed information. See FAQ for additional questions.

Who will conduct the audit?

Within 20 days of the policy expiration date, you will receive an audit notice detailing how you will be audited and further instructions on how to complete the audit, including who will be contacting you and who to contact with additional questions. The audit will be done by one of the following methods:

  1. Mailing a premium audit form called business activity questionnaire and/or notification to you; and
    • A premium auditor representing our company will call you for a telephone audit of your records; or
    • A premium auditor representing our company will visit you for a physical audit of your records.
  2. Mailing a premium audit form called business activity questionnaire and/or notification to you to be completed online.

The audit of your records will pertain to the variable factors that apply to your policy. You are assured of complete confidentiality by the auditor and the insurance company personnel. Please note Information you provide as part of the audit may be shared in accordance with Nationwide’s privacy policy, located at:

This process is important to your business - and much easier than you think

Premium audit FAQs

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Your policy is usually initially based on estimated exposures. The purpose of the audit is to make sure that we have the actual exposures for the policy period and that you have adequate coverage.

Common terms & definitions for premium audits

We've compiled a list of terms and definitions to help you make sense of some of the premium audit terms on our website.

Keep in mind that our terms and definitions are intended for information purposes only, and the way they're interpreted or applied may vary from state to state.

Audit period

The policy period for which you will provide the information for the premium audit.

Casual labor

Work that is not typically in the scope of your normal business operations and does not advance your business. Usually performed on an irregular or one-time basis.

Contract labor

Refers to work done by independently employed workers who have a contract with your business for a limited period of time, use their own equipment and pay taxes on their own.


Certificate of Insurance: a document from an insurance company that a subcontractor uses to prove to your business the existence of his own insurance coverage for a set period of time.

Description of operations

Detailed overview of your business and how it operates, including the industry and type of clients served, the product and/or service offered, and how the product and/or service is delivered.

Federal 941/quarterly reports

Employers who withhold income, Social Security or Medicare tax from employees’ paychecks or who pay the employer’s share of Social Security or Medicare tax file these forms with the IRS to report these taxes.

Gross overtime

The amount paid for hours worked above the employees’ regular 40-hour workweek.

Gross sales

The total amount charged by your business and any other entity operating under your business’s name for all products sold or distributed, all services performed, all dues or fees collected and/or all properties rented, excluding any taxes.

Gross wages/gross payroll

Total compensation paid to employees prior to any deductions. Includes wages or salaries, commissions, paid time off, bonuses, overtime and stipends.

Stop gap

The total gross payroll for all employees and officers/owners as reported on the tax forms during the policy period.

Ownership type/legal entity

The legal structure of your business (corporation, individual, partnership, LLC, LLP, nonprofit and such).

Ready to start your Nationwide premium audit? Call 1-800-243-2890 or email us.

Products underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies. Home Office: Columbus, OH 43215. Subject to underwriting guidelines, review and approval.

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