Frequently Asked Questions for Workers' Compensation

July 28, 2020


Rebecca Batisto
Frequently Asked Questions for Workers' Compensation

No matter how careful we are and no matter what precautions we take, mistakes will always happen.

Sometimes, these are harmless accidents, but occasionally, they can have far-reaching consequences. For example, if an employee is injured at their place of employment, that business could be liable for all potential damages. If the injury is severe enough, it could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damages, potentially crippling that business.

Thankfully, there are insurance options that can help both employees and businesses navigate potential injuries without causing either of them devastating financial damages: Workers’ Compensation Insurance.

What Does Workers’ Comp Cover?

When an employee is injured or falls ill due to a work-related incident, Workers’ Compensation insurance helps to cover partial lost wages, medical expenses, on-going care costs. In the event of death due to a work-related incident, it could also pay death benefits and funeral expenses.

Workers’ Compensation insurance can also protect employers from potential lawsuits, for example, if there were claims that employer negligence caused the employee’s injury.

Are You Legally Required to Have Workers’ Comp?

While each state has different regulations about Workers’ Compensation, the vast majority of them require businesses to have it when they hire their first employee. The only state that doesn’t require Workers’ Comp by law is Texas, where it is optional.

Do All Workers Need to be Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Not necessarily. For example, independent contractors or volunteers are typically not covered by Workers’ Comp. There could also be exemptions for seasonal workers, depending on the type of work and industry. Please consult with your insurance broker for details on who your policy covers.

Are There Different Types of Workers’ Compensation?

Yes. Worker classification can impact the cost of Workers’ Compensation. If a workplace has a higher-than-average possibility of injury, then insurance is likely to be more expensive. That is why all workers must be assigned a workers’ compensation class code that reflects their work environment. Not doing so could result in penalties and lawsuits.

What is NOT Covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

As Workers’ Comp is designed to help protect employees and businesses from on-the-job injuries, not all incidents are covered. For example, if the injury was a result of worker negligence or impairment such as intoxication. Emotional injuries can also be a fuzzy area, especially if they are not accompanied or caused by physical injuries.

Every state has different regulations on what is not covered by Workers’ Compensation. Your insurance broker should cover all of this information before you purchase your policy.

What Should Be Done If an Employee is Hurt on the Job?

When someone is injured while working, they should immediately report that injury to their supervisor and file a report. It should include the date, time, and circumstances of the injury. This document is essential for filing a workers’ compensation claim as quickly as possible.

Even if an injury does not appear significant at the moment, it’s essential to have this documentation if it gets worse over time. In which case, the injury should be again brought to the attention of a supervisor after the injured workers has obtained a diagnosis.

How Do I File for Workers’ Compensation?

First things first, make sure that your employee has received appropriate medical treatment for the injury. If it is severe, call an ambulance to take them to the ER.

Once their injury is diagnosed, you can take the next steps. If the employee requires time off due to their workplace-related injury, approve it. You will also need to provide the injured employee with all relevant paperwork and forms related to Workers’ Comp, along with guidance on how to complete them. Then, start compiling the information necessary for the Workers’ Comp claim. This will include your company’s information, the injured employee’s information, and all details of the incident, including witness statements.

The Workers’ Compensation claim must be made within a specific timeframe, depending on the state. These regulations can vary, so be sure to consult with your insurance broker.

Can I Change My Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Absolutely. Businesses grow and change over time, meaning that your coverage will need to change accordingly. Contact your insurance broker, and they will help you purchase additional policies or adjust the coverage level on your current policy.

This list is just scratching the surface when it comes to the questions people have about Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If you wish for more detailed information, we suggest dropping us a line here. At Normandy Insurance, we specialize in Workers’ Compensation and can help you purchase the right policy to protect both your business and your employees.

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