The TBG Education Foundation’s sole mission is to inspire a new generation of young men and women to discover the wide variety of viable career opportunities available in the building trades. With the workforce shortage looming like a dark cloud over the construction industry, we’ve redoubled our commitment to building a bigger and brighter future for the construction trades. That’s why this year’s TBG Education Foundation Golf Outing will be our biggest and most exciting event since we first hit the links 16 years ago.

Each year, over a hundred golfers participate for a chance to win great prizes and to help make a difference in the lives of those who work in the construction industry. When you tee it up this June, you’ll help provide Minnesota’s youth with the grants, scholarships and apprenticeships they need to build the future of the construction trades. Together we’ll build the future one putt at a time.

Where: Willingers Golf Club
6797 Canby Trail Northfield, MN
When: Monday, June 24th, 2019
Shotgun Start: 12:30pm

Save The Date


November 21, 2018
TBG Dividend Announcement
I am proud to say that for the third year in a row, we are in the financial position to pay another
dividend to qualifying members!

There are a several factors that allow us to pay these dividends to members, however the primary
reason is from the support and commitment of our members over the years. Another is TBG’s
dedication to controlling workers’ compensation costs through safety services training, proactive
claims management and a dedicated NurseCare Hotline. Under the guidelines of our dividend policy, the TBG Board of Directors has declared a $2,704,456 dividend which will be paid in May of 2019.

To qualify for a dividend, a member has to meet three basic criteria:

  1. You were a member of the fund during the year the dividend is based on.
  2. You must be a member on the date the dividend is paid.
  3. Your loss ratio must be less than the breakeven loss ratio for the fund year the dividend is paid from.

Thank you for your support and loyalty to The Builders Group. Your help in making workers’ comp work is critical to us. Working together, we can continue to enjoy a return on our investment for years to come.


Stu Thompson, CEO

Safety Is Paying Off For TBG


Worker safety pays off in many ways for The Builders Group.

For this 21-year-old self-insured group, a focus on worker safety and an 8,000-square-foot workers’ safety training center is an investment that is literally paying off. TBG is set to distribute $2.7 million in dividends to its members in 2019. That distribution is a direct reflection of TBG’s excellent performance in recent years. The insurer’s surplus has reached $36.4 million, with annual premium now in excess of $40 million.

The company—the state’s largest self-insured construction work comp fund—continues to add new safety features. It has launched a Nurse Care Hotline giving its members’ workers immediate access to medical professionals who can diagnose workplace injuries; recommend first aid; and help injured workers quickly find the best care providers. TBG has also teamed up with Associated Builders and Contractors of Minnesota/North Dakota to deploy a state-of-the-art mobile training facility that brings hands-on safety training to its members throughout Minnesota.

The majority of the training, however, continues to be at TBG’s Safety Services training center, in Eagan at 2919 Eagandale Boulevard. Here, TBG Safety Services offers both classroom training and hands-on training in its demonstration room which is equipped to simulate the work environment. Every year about 4,000 workers participate in 4-to-8 hour sessions, ranging from slip and fall protection (the most common workplace injury) to confined space training; to trench collapse, which is the scariest workplace catastrophe.

TBG Safety Services’ classrooms provide OSHA 10-hour construction safety training courses, which is the only class in TBG’s curriculum that requires a fee. There is also hands-on safety instruction on topics such as electrical, ladder safety, tie-off procedure sand supervisory training among others.



These preventive efforts have combined to help members drive down their workers’ compensation costs. Year-after-year, statistics continue to show that for every experience mod that goes up—two will go down. TBG’s combined ratio last year was 84.1 percent. Its member retention rate 96.5 percent.

While safety training is a critical component of TBG’s steady growth and performance, there are also several other factors according to CEO Stu Thompson. A crucial one is that TBG’s board of directors is comprised of contractors. “That means” he explained, “we have inside knowledge about the daily issues and challenges facing construction. Our board members know their needs, which is what keeps us on the cutting edge.” Just recently, for example, TBG tackled the exposure of Minnesota contractors doing business in other states and worked with an A-rated insurance company to offer coverage to their members.

Another factor was an early adoption of predictive analytics—long before the study of data patterns became popular in the business world. Thompson, who has an MBA in economics from St. Thomas University, began researching how to use data to predict outcomes. Four years ago TBG engaged MillimanMax to aggregate data to help with underwriting and predicting injury outcomes. Consequently, Thompson and the staff are very comfortable with a concept that is just now becoming common in the workplace.

There are, however, some limits Thompson points out. “Sometimes there is disagreement between underwriters and predictive analytics. That is when judgment comes in. For example, if we have an insured with a good safety program and few injuries—but whose analytic score calls for a premium increase—we will almost always overrule the increase.”

Another factor in TBG’s steadily increasing positive numbers has been a strong reliance on automation. Increased efficiency has enabled the insurer to reduce staff from a high of 24 full-time positions to its current 18.5, in spite of increased premiums. The only department that has added members is the Safety Services Team, which will grow again next year. The other department TBG will not reduce is its claims team. There are eight claims people onsite from third-party administrator Mackinaw Administrators (formerly Meadowbrook Insurance Group) giving TBG Claims Services the ability to actively manage injuries and give personal assistance to injured workers during recovery.

The current construction pipeline along with other positive financial indicators bode well for TBG’s immediate future. The construction industry has a backlog of projects and a limited number of qualified workers due to the robust economy.

Thompson added that TBG has also developed the TBG Education Foundation. The foundation was established to provide scholarships and grants to students at vocational schools as well as purchased tools and equipment for various construction education programs. In one case, the TBG Education Foundation partnered with a construction association in northern Minnesota to provide $10,000 to a school that previously had a budget of only $1,500. “Providing insurance coverage is just part of what we do,” he said, “TBG is involved in many aspects of the construction industry.”

Understanding Your Dividend

As a member of TBG, when the fund does well you do well by way of a dividend. During the last several years, losses have been low, resulting in increased funds in the account dividends are paid from – Member Distribution Payable (MDP). This is one of the many benefits of being a member.


Dividend Distribution Approval:

At the first board meeting after July 1st of each year, the TBG Board of Directors will determine if a dividend distribution is warranted, the amount of the distribution if any and the eligible fund year(s). If TBG approves a dividend distribution, that declaration must be sent to the Minnesota Department of Commerce for approval. Once approval is received, the TBG Board of Directors will determine the timing and method of payout.

Dividend Payment Breakdown:

  • Once the first payment of a fund year is made, the balance is paid over a six year period.
  • Every year the remaining dividend amount is recalculated using 12/31 YTD data to take into account the claims development of that year.

Dividend Policy FAQ’s

How Is The Total Dividend Amount Calculated?

An expense ratio is calculated to come up with the “breakeven” loss ratio: the amount needed to cover the expenses of that year. The total dividend amount available each year is determined after reviewing the expenses and income.

How Are Individual Member’s Dividend Calculated?

An individual member’s dividend is performance based – the better the loss ratio, the more dividend they receive. Simply put, the more profit you contribute the more money you get back.

How Do I Know If I’m Eligible For A Dividend?

To receive a dividend you must have been a member of TBG during the year the dividend is being paid, be an active member on the date the payment is made, and have a loss ratio less than the breakeven loss ratio of that fund year.

When Will I Know The Amount Of The Dividend I Will Receive?

When you renew your policy or when the dividend is paid, you’ll receive a “Dividend Scorecard”. Your dividend scorecard will let you know if you qualify for a dividend, provide you with an estimate of how much you will receive and an estimate of any remaining dividends.

Annual Dividend Payout Schedule

Once a dividend has been authorized for a fund year, distributions will be made per the following schedule:

  • 1st Year – 20% of the total authorized dividend
  • 2nd Year – 10% of the total authorized dividend
  • 3rd Year – 10% of the total authorized dividend
  • 4th Year – 15% of the total authorized dividend
  • 5th Year – 15% of the total authorized dividend
  • 6th Year – 15% of the total authorized dividend
  • 7th Year – Balance of the total authorized dividend

The TBG Board of Directors has the authority to suspend the payment of dividends if, in their opinion, the payment would adversely affect the financial integrity of the fund. Dividends are not guaranteed and members are jointly and severally liable for any and all losses the fund incurs.

Members are jointly and severally liable for their proportionate share of obligations for the group and will be assessed on an individual and proportionate share basis for any deficit created by the group. Dividends are not guaranteed.