Workers Compensation Insurance
In most states, businesses require the protection provided by workers’ compensation insurance. It’s not only required by law, but it’s also an essential way to invest in the people who make your business vigorous.
What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
This type of insurance provides wage and medical benefits to individuals who become ill or are injured at work. Each state mandates the coverage, and the medical and wage benefits vary by state.
Workers’ compensation offers protection for the medical treatment, care, and recovery of your employees when their job duties cause them to become:
Workers’ compensation insurance can prevent lawsuits against your company, in some cases, when injuries and accidents occur. For your employees, it can be a lifeline when they’re suddenly unable to work and require medical assistance while recovering.
Who’s Covered by Workers’ Comp Insurance?
Workers’ compensation can cover:
- Your employees: First and foremost, it protects your personnel by providing them with a portion of their lost income if they’re hurt while working. It can also help pay for related medical expenses.
- Your company: Your company is also protected if any employees bring suit against your company claiming the reason for their illness or injury was your negligence. The lawsuit expenses and costs related to the damages to the workers are also covered.
How Workers’ Comp Insurance Works
Workers’ comp is designed to protect both employees and employers should an accident or illness arise at the workplace. Each state will have its own regulations and rules that you must follow to ensure you provide adequate coverage for injured workers.
Employees filing claims for workers’ comp insurance can do so only if their illness or injury is caused while they’re working on the job. Some examples include:
- A strain on the body due to heavy lifting
- Injuries due to a slip or fall
- An accident while operating machinery
Which Injuries Are Covered?
Injuries workers sustain on the job premises or at another place while the employee is performing in the “course and scope” of occupation are covered if you have workers’ comp insurance. For instance, traffic accidents occurring while the worker is in a vehicle for the purposes of work are the leading cause of workers’ compensation insurance death claims. If they’re driving to or from work and get into an accident, however, it’s not covered.
Along with accident-related injuries, workers’ compensation covers injuries employees might sustain from other events occurring while they’re working like:
- Terrorist attacks
- Workplace violence
- Natural disasters
This type of insurance also covers certain occupational diseases and illnesses (defined in the state statutes) the employee contracted because of work. For instance, personnel who are working with toxic chemicals could become ill due to chemical exposure.
Workers comp doesn’t cover injuries occurring:
- Outside of work
- While commuting to and from the job
- Due to substance abuse or intoxication
Who’s Required to Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?
With a small number of exceptions, all states require companies with employees who aren’t owners to buy coverage for those workers.
Companies that don’t provide this coverage can face costly and severe repercussions, including:
- Payment of claims out of pocket
- Possible imprisonment
- Potentially losing their right of conducting business in the state
Costs will include payments made under deductibles, premiums, and the administrative expenses of making reports to your insurer and the state and handling claims.
Workers’ comp premiums vary by state. In states where benefits are typically more generous, workers’ comp insurance premiums might be correspondingly higher. Workers’ comp benefits, in most states, continue even after the employee starts collecting Medicare and Social Security.
Generazio Associates, Inc. Insurance is an independent insurance agency believing in helping local businesses with exceptional insurance products and services each and every time.