Five Questions Business Owners Have About Their Workers' Compensation Plan

January 15, 2019


Rebecca Batisto
Five Questions Business Owners Have About Their Workers' Compensation Plan

As an employer, you’re responsible for providing your employees with a safe work environment. Nevertheless, accidents can happen, and workers’ compensation insurance guarantees employees who suffer some type of job-related injury or illness get the medical care they need. It also allows for them to receive wage replacement until they’re able to return to work. But how much do you know about workers’ compensation? Here we answer five common questions for business owners.

Do I have to carry workers’ compensation insurance?

Laws vary by state, but Texas is the only place where it’s not mandated for employers to carry this protection. Some states offer an exemption for certain types of employees, including farm workers, domestic help, and seasonal workers. Find a workers’ compensation official where you are by clicking on your state on this list provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.

What does workers’ compensation insurance cover?

While the specifics of each plan is different, there are four major categories of coverage with workers’ compensation insurance:

  • Medical treatment: this covers things like doctor visits, surgeries, hospital stays, and prescriptions.
  • Wage replacement: if a worker is out due to an injury, they can receive part of their normal wages if they qualify for temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent total disability, or permanent partial disability.
  • Vocational rehabilitation: this pays for physical therapy to help your employees make a full recovery. If their injury prevents them from returning to the same job, this also covers special training to become qualified for a different position.
  • Death benefits: if a worker dies due to a job-related injury or illness, their family or dependents may receive benefits including funeral expenses and financial support.

How do I lower the chances my employees will ever have to file a workers’ compensation claim?

Safety should be a priority at your business. Have a safety policy in place and train your workers on this policy. Offer them updates and any tips that will help them stay safe on the job. Some businesses have wellness programs in place that encourage healthy living and fitness, which should also reduce the number of accidents at work. Consider offering incentives for employees who practice safety at work. And don’t forget about your office staff. It isn’t just warehouse workers or those in construction who get hurt on-the-job. Provide ergonomically-friendly office equipment for those with desk jobs.

Read More: Should You Jump On The Bandwagon Of Employee Wellness Programs?

Do employees have to be at work when they’re injured in order to collect benefits?

Depending on the laws of your state, an employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits any time they are injured within the scope of performing their job. For example, a salesperson who is injured while he is away from the office is still covered if he is conducting business. Likewise, an employee who is injured while running a work-related errand is also covered. However, workers’ comp does not cover employees who were injured while on break even if they were on company property.

How much does workers’ compensation insurance cost?

As we stated earlier, laws vary by state. Costs also differ depending on where you are. According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, costs fell for the third year in a row in 2016. And consider this: according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than 4.1 million workers suffer a serious job-related injury or illness each year. In other words, the cost of not having workers’ compensation insurance could far outweigh any costs of having it.

It would be impossible to cover all the rules surrounding workers’ compensation, but at Normandy, we can help you purchase the specific coverage you need for your business. Our agents have a working knowledge of workers’ compensation insurance, and experience in handling claims. Contact us today, and we’d be honored to help you.

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