As a small business, workers compensation may not seem like a ”big deal” or high on the list of priorities.
If your business is office-based, you may also be wondering why it’s necessary – what could possibly go wrong in an office?
The bottom line is that state law throughout the U.S. requires all businesses with one employee or more to provide workers compensation insurance.
If your business is new to the world of insurance coverage for workers, learn everything you need to know in this blog.
Understanding Workers Compensation
This form of insurance coverage provides employees with benefits should they be injured or fall ill while working for your company.
Typically, workers compensation insurance covers the following incidents:
- Injury to or loss of limbs
- Workplace induced illnesses, such as emphysema
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Injury rehabilitation
- Lost wages- covering approximately two-thirds of a worker’s salary
- Medical treatment by a physician or specialist
- Legal liability insurance should an employee wish to file a lawsuit
- Death of an employee
As we mentioned, most states throughout the U.S. require business by law to offer this form of compensation to all employees.
In essence, it is also a way of protecting your business should an employee wish to file a lawsuit against your company for injury or illness.
Companies can turn to either the state or a private insurer for this form of coverage.
How Much Does It Cost?
Generally, this cost of workers compensation insurance will vary from one company to the next.
This expense is largely dependent on the risks associated with your business.
If you run a factory which operates large, heavy machinery, your insurance premiums will naturally be higher.
If your business is mostly office-based, your insurance premiums will be a little lower as there are fewer risks associated with this environment.
To keep your insurance premiums and compensation claims low, businesses should strive to:
- Continually assess the safety of the work environment.
- Maintain the quality of safety equipment supplied and update safety protocol where needed.
- Train all employees on safety in the workplace, its importance and how to maintain a safe working environment.
- Help injured or ill employees to heal and get back to their positions as soon as possible.
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle for employees, begin a health and wellness program to keep them accountable.
These are just a few of the recommended ways to keep compensation premiums at a reasonable amount for any business, no matter the industry.
Terms and Conditions To Keep in Mind
As is the nature of any legally binding insurance coverage, it’s important for businesses to keep these factors in mind:
- No matter the size of your business, you will still be required by law to offer compensation coverage. If you have one employee or more, it is required.
- You will still be required to stay in contact with an employee, even after their compensation is paid. This is important to gauge when they will be fit to return to work.
- Employees can still claim compensation even if an accident wasn’t 100% their fault. This even includes carelessness and negligence to an extent.
- Part-time or independent contractors are still classed as employees. They will also require some form of compensation coverage.
- Employees can still claim compensation even if they weren’t injured on your workplace premises. Essentially, if they were injured within their job description, they should still be covered.
It’s also important to remember that compensation fraud is a reality.
But it’s not as common as many people think – research shows only 1-2% of claims each year are fraudulent across the U.S.
Turn To Chicago Injury Network For Insurance Advice
If you’ve been injured at work and you’re unsure of whether you qualify for insurance coverage, our team at Chicago Injury Network are here to help!
Get in touch with us and request a free consultation for everything you need to know about injury coverage!
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