Are you looking to invest in workers’ compensation for your new small business? Have you been putting off switching to a new workers’ comp insurance provider for too long? If so, then you owe it to your staff to learn all that you can about workers’ compensation insurance.
Doing so can help you find the perfect coverage for your business. It will provide financial assistance to your workers in their hour of need, as well as provide financial security for your company.
See below for an in-depth guide that answers many of the most commonly asked questions from employers regarding workers’ compensation insurance.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
While the basic premise of workers’ compensation is generally understood by employers and workers alike, the details of it remain a mystery. It’s used to protect workers and employers in the event of an emergency, such as a work-related injury or illness.
It should also be used as a pivotal piece in protecting the relationship between you and your best in-house talent if an accident were to occur. Rather than getting mixed up in an emotional back and forth on how much compensation the worker needs, your worker will be seeking compensation from your provider.
As the employer, it’s important to understand what workers’ compensation insurance covers so that you can search for proper coverage as you plan. Workers’ comp covers:
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Long-Term Disabilities
- Short-Term Disabilities
- Medical Expenses
- Preferred Medical Treatment
- Lost Wages as a result of the injury
Ideally, workers’ compensation can be a way in which to return your top-tier in-house talent and help them get back to the shape they were in before the injury.
If their injury or illness limits their ability to do their previous job effectively, they could potentially land a new role with your company or find comparable work elsewhere.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Not Cover?
As far as workers’ compensation is concerned, it’s just as important to know what’s not covered by your policy. This is relatively universal among most workers’ comp insurance providers.
Whenever a worker files a claim, your provider will take a hard look at what caused the accident that led to the injury. There are a few situations that would count your worker as being ineligible to qualify for workers’ comp insurance. This includes:
- Injuries where intoxication was involved.
- Any injuries that were sustained while your employee was working from home.
- Injuries under the umbrella of the “coming and going” rule.
- Injuries that occurred as a result of the injured worker goofing off or performing an action that goes against common workplace safety rules.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, the “coming and going” rule refers to any situation in which your worker was coming and going from work.
There are a few exceptions to that rule, however. For one, they could be eligible for coverage if they were traveling for work when the injury/illness occurred. They could also receive compensation if you had approved the action that led to the incident.
Is Workers’ Comp Legally Required?
In short: yes it is. Workers’ compensation insurance is legally required by the federal government for any business that has one or more full-time employees.
You read that correctly. If you even have one employee working for you, then you’re legally required to have workers’ comp. If an incident occurs and you’re caught without it, there could be harsh penalties ahead.
These penalties vary from state to state. For example, some states (such as Florida) will charge you fines that are double the amount you would have paid in premiums for the length of time you went without it.
It’s considered a misdemeanor in many states and, in some situations, can even lead to your serving jail time. Don’t avoid workers’ comp to try and save money on your overall budget. The penalties could stack up to amounts that your company will never financially recover from.
What Are the Benefits of Workers’ Compensation?
Too many employers view workers’ compensation insurance as a nuisance. Little do they know that it’s the only thing saving their company from financial setbacks in the event of a workplace accident.
Here are a few of the main benefits of having workers’ compensation insurance set up and paying the premiums on them.
Protects Your Staff’s Livelihood
Put yourself in the shoes of an injured worker. Not only are you dealing with the physical and mental repercussions of the workplace injury you sustained, but you also might not be able to work.
Worker’s compensation ensures that all their financial needs are met while they focus on recovery. That includes medical expenses, lost wages, and vocational rehab.
Financial Protection for Your Company
If worker’s compensation didn’t exist, employers would be legally inclined to cover the cost of the workplace injuries their workers’ experience. That can quickly amount to thousands of dollars that your company doesn’t have readily available.
Thanks to workers’ comp, your provider will give financial protection if someone on your staff gets injured at work.
Invest in Proper Worker’s Compensation Insurance for Your Company Today
Now that you have seen the importance of workers’ compensation insurance and what it’s all about, be sure to invest in the proper coverage for your needs.
Take the time to find a reputable provider. Ideally, you’ll invest in workers’ comp with one provider for many years to come, helping you save on costs over time.
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