From slip, falls and muscle strains to lacerations and collisions, accidents occur in the workplace every day. When injuries are severe, an employee may be forced to remain out of work for a prolonged period of time. This can result in lost income and climbing medical bills. Workers compensation insurance is designed to give employees the benefits they need while out of work. What is workers compensation exactly? It is a type of insurance policy that is mandated by most states to protect businesses and their employees.
How Does Workers Compensation Insurance Work?
Workers compensation policies are acquired by businesses in order to protect their business and employees in the event that they become ill or injured while performing their work duties. The typical workers compensation policy provides coverage for lost wages, medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. In addition, workers compensation insurance may also pay out death benefits to the family of an employee who is killed on the job.
Each state has its own set of rules and regulations surrounding workers compensation. Today, it is mandatory for all employers to carry workers compensation with the exception of agricultural employers who have fewer than five employees. In addition, businesses with fewer than three employees are exempt from coverage. An employee can only file a claim for workers compensation if their illness or injury is caused by their duties while on the job.
Do I Need Workers Compensation Insurance?
While most employers have a legal responsibility to acquire workers compensation insurance, there are also other reasons to get a policy. Workers compensation can protect employers from lawsuits that result from workplace accidents. When an employee chooses to receive payments to cover medical care and lost wages, they forfeit their right to sue. Workers compensation insurance provides payments to ill or injured workers, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
Even if you are not legally required to purchase workers compensation insurance, it is still a good idea. While you will need to add workers compensation insurance to your budget, you could potentially save much more in the event that you are sued by an employee for an on-the-job illness or injury. In addition, workers compensation can be highly beneficial to your employees who may need help paying for their medical bills, mortgage, rent and other bills in the event that they are no longer able to work.
Types of Injuries Covered
Workers compensation covers a wide range of injuries, including sudden injuries that result from accidents as well as occupational illnesses and injuries that develop over time. Some of the most common workplace injuries and illnesses include:
- Overuse and Repetitive Motion Injuries – These common injuries occur among workers who perform repetitive movements on a day-to-day basis, such as typing on a keyboard or clicking on a mouse. Carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, tendonitis, and similar injuries often develop over time.
Occupational Illnesses – Employees can develop certain illnesses or diseases as a result of on-the-job exposure. For example, exposure to coal dust could result in black lung disease while exposure to asbestos could cause asbestosis.
- Pre-existing Conditions – There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to pre-existing conditions and workers compensation. In many cases, you can still get workers compensation if you have a pre-existing condition that was aggravated by a work-related injury.
- Hearing Loss – Contractors, manufacturing workers, and similar employees that work in noisy environments may suffer some level of hearing loss over time. In most cases, workers compensation will cover medical payments relating to hearing loss.
- Stress-Related Injuries – Long-term stress exposure can contribute to both physical and psychological illnesses. While it can sometimes be challenging to get workers compensation for a stress-related injury or illness, it is possible.
How Much Is the Insurance Policy?
The cost of workers compensation insurance is dependent on the state in which you live and the unique risks your business faces. In addition, the size of your business and your claims history may impact how much you pay for a policy. The larger your staff, the more you can expect to pay for workers compensation. In addition, the type of work your business is involved in can also affect the cost. For example, an accountant will usually face fewer on-the-job risks compared to a construction worker.
Acquire a Workers Compensation Policy Today
Formerly known as workmen’s comp, workers compensation is a very important policy for employers in all industries to have to protect their business and employees. However, you do not want to choose a workers compensation insurance policy randomly. Take the time to compare your options to see what best fits your budget and unique needs. The insurance experts at John M. Glover can also help. Reach out to an insurance agent at John M. Glover today for an instant insurance quote.