Workers compensation coverage, often called Workers Comp, is insurance that covers the cost of medical care and lost wages for any of your employees who suffer a work-related injury or illness. If you own a business and employ workers, you’ll probably need to purchase workers comp insurance to meet regulations in your state.
Requirements vary by state and most states mandate that any business with one or more employees – including Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania – purchase workers compensation insurance from a commercial provider or for a state agency.
Several states do not require workers comp until you employee three to five employees. Most states provide exemptions for some kinds of businesses, while others specifically list what types of businesses must provide workers compensation insurance. Texas is the lone state that does not require business owners to provide workers compensation coverage unless you have a construction company that works for a government entity.
Any commercial insurance provider can let you know the requirements for your state and whether or not you need to get workers compensation insurance.
Will My Workers Compensation Insurance Cover Me Too?
Most states do not require sole proprietors or business partners to buy a workers compensation plan until they have employees. In most states, sole proprietors or partners can cover themselves with their workers compensation plan but they are not required to.
What Does Workers Comp Insurance Cover?
No matter how careful you and your employers are when they are on the job, accidents do happen, and your employees may be injured. If one or more of your employees are injured or become ill because of job-related activities, workers compensation insurance will cover the cost of their medical care and replace their wages until they are able to return to work.
Workers compensation insurance will cover your employees regardless of who is at fault, no matter if it is the injured employee’s fault, a coworker’s fault or even the fault of one of your customers. In exchange for workers compensation coverage, your employees will have limited rights to sue you for damages for the injuries they received.Work-related injuries do not have to be the result of a single incident. Repetitive stress injuries or an illness that is caused by repeated exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace could result in a workers compensation claim.
In addition, your employees do not have to be at work in order to be covered. If, for example, they injured while they are completing a work-related task at your request, workers’ compensation may cover these injuries. If your workers are injured while they are driving to or from work, those injuries would usually not be considered work-related.
Additionally, some states allow employers to conduct a drug or alcohol test after an accident and will hold the employer blameless if the employee fails such a test. Workers’ compensation also does not usually cover self-inflicted injuries or intentional acts of the employer or other employees.
Because workers compensation coverage is mandated on a state-by-state basis, laws and regulations in every state determine what injuries and illnesses are covered by your workers comp plan, what medical care is appropriate and how much in benefits your employee is entitled to receive. If you are not sure what the requirements are in your state, be sure to ask your insurance provider.
What is the Claims Process for Workers Comp?
If one of your employees is injured on the job, both you and your employee have many obligations. under the workers’ compensation system. The injured employers must report their injury to you. If your employee does not report his or her injury in a specific number of days, they may lose their right to receive benefits.
You may be required to provide your employees with fact sheets or other materials that describe their rights and responsibilities. Your employees should review that information and contact the state agency that administers workers compensation programs in your state if they have any questions.
What Can Happen If I Don’t Get Workers Comp Insurance?
Nearly every state requires employers to get workers compensation insurance when they hire employees and are not in an exempt industry. If you do not provide required coverage, you could be subject to fines from your state government. In addition, if an employee is injured on the job and you do not have workers comp insurance, you could face a lawsuit for his or her medical costs and lost wages.
Call or email Scott Hartzell at 215-997-5800 to get a thorough examination of your existing coverage and to make sure you get the workers compensation insurance plan you need.