How to Get Workers’ Compensation for a Business
Offering workers’ compensation is one of the best things you can do for your business. Find out how to get workers’ compensation right here!
Approximately 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses occurred in the United States in 2020. Employers with workers’ compensation insurance weren’t held responsible for these costs.
Do you know how to get workers’ compensation coverage to avoid liability? Continue reading to learn how you can protect employees, your business, and yourself with workers’ comp.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation refers to a type of insurance that covers the costs associated with an injury or illness obtained during or because of a person’s job. It’s used to protect employers and employees of various industries.
Why Is Workers’ Compensation Important?
Worker’s compensation is an essential purchase for many companies, especially those in moderate-risk and high-risk industries. One of the main benefits is the financial protection that it offers.
However, investing in WC insurance is not just about financial protection. It also keeps your business legal, keeps you informed, protects your business, and protects your employees.
Each state has its requirements in terms of workers’ comp insurance. When starting your business, it’s important to research your state’s requirements from whether you need it to how to get worker’s compensation.
Even if your state doesn’t require you to have WC insurance, you should still consider it. The other benefits to your business can save you time and money.
Keeps You Informed
When an employee becomes ill or injured by or because of their job, they have to inform their employer within a certain timeframe. This helps ensure you always know what’s going on at your business.
Since you may have to make accommodations for an ill or injured employee when they return to work, it’s important to be aware of any incidents. This also helps in addressing any hazards that can result in other workers’ injuries.
The costs associated with an employee injury are significant. From medical expenses to missed wages, the bills can add up quickly. Workers comp insurance guarantees coverage for these types of expenses under the right conditions.
If your state doesn’t require WC insurance, you may still want to invest in the protection it offers your business. If you and your employee can’t agree on terms, you could be legally liable for any costs without this coverage.
WC insurance not only takes care of the costs for qualifying injuries but also limits when an employee can sue their employer for damages. This means less legal risk for you and your business.
An equally essential reason for investing in workers’ compensation insurance is as a way to protect employees. If you don’t offer this coverage, and can’t cover the employee’s expenses, they have to pay out-of-pocket for care.
This can negatively impact an employee’s ability to recover if they need to rush back to work to pay for their medical bills. It may also deter potential employees from working for or with your company.
How to Know if You Need WC Insurance
While there are many benefits to workers’ comp insurance, not all employers need it. If you aren’t sure whether you should apply for coverage consider three aspects:
- Business industry
- Number of employees
- Structure of business
You may also need coverage if you contract (or are contracted by) other companies. Be sure to check your state’s local requirements to ensure you stay compliant or have the coverage you need.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
If one of your employees suffers a work-related injury or illness, it’s important to understand what kind of coverage they are eligible for. Your employee will have to work with your insurance company directly for coverage.
The first and most obvious benefit of workers’ compensation is the ability to seek immediate treatment without having to worry about coverage. When an employee goes to their doctor, they won’t have to pay out-of-pocket to get care.
This includes visits to the emergency room, surgeries, and medications for their illness or injury. Once they tell their doctor’s office that they are filing a worker’s comp claim, all they need to do is complete paperwork.
In some cases, a medical problem isn’t cured in one visit to the doctor and they may need additional treatments or therapies. Additional treatments are included in the workers’ compensation insurance plan.
This includes any applicable rehabilitation, additional surgeries, and follow-up visits as long as the employee is eligible. That means they can continue to receive coverage even if they return to work.
When it comes to an injury, many employers and employees are focused on getting the employee the care they need so that they can return to work. They sometimes overlook the issue of lost wages.
Lost wages on top of extensive medical bills can be financially crippling for individuals and businesses, especially small businesses. Fortunately, lost wages are one of the perks of WC insurance.
Some of the most common injuries don’t occur from a single event such as a laceration or sprained ankle. Conditions such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome can develop over many years of work.
When these issues arise, workers’ comp can protect employees and their employers. Employees get the therapy and medications they need while employers don’t have to pay out-of-pocket for these expenses.
If an employee is either temporarily or permanently disabled, they can receive disability benefits as part of their workers’ comp coverage. These benefits include coverage for medical bills and lost wages.
Benefits for Survivors
In the tragic event of death, an employee’s surviving beneficiaries are eligible for benefits. These include funeral expenses and other death benefits.
Workers’ Comp Coverage Exceptions
While workers’ compensation helps protect employees, there are some exceptions to coverage. If an employee is injured at work while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are not eligible for coverage.
Additionally, if they are voluntarily participating in a recreational activity, consuming food they prepared for their consumption, or committing at the time of their injury, they aren’t eligible for coverage.
How to Get Workers’ Compensation
Now that you understand the details, you need to know how to get workers’ compensation. Some states require certain businesses to obtain coverage through their state’s government.
However, some states and certain employers are eligible to find coverage independently. Being able to find your coverage helps find the best rates and plans.
Find the Right Plan
One of the most important aspects of workers’ compensation insurance is selecting the right plan. At One Force Worker’s Comp, we can help you find the right plan with little time or effort on your part.
The best part is that there are no upfront premiums, you only pay for what you use, no audits, and discounted rates.
How to File Workers’ Comp Claim
Once you find the right plan, all you need to know is how to file a workers’ comp claim. The process begins once your employee notifies the right person of their injury or illness.
It’s important to designate a staff member for this responsibility. Some companies appoint a human resources employee, a company manager, or a safety officer.
Educate Your Staff
Both you and your employees must understand how the system works if you want to maintain compliance and make the process as easy as possible. For that reason, make sure you educate your team.
Details of what to do in the event of a workplace accident or illness should be discussed whenever you onboard a new employee. They should understand when to report an injury and other steps they need to take for coverage.
Complete and File Report
With the injury reported, you and your employee need to complete separate incident reports provided by your insurer for the workers’ comp claim. Be sure to examine the area where the injury occurred to ensure no other employees are at risk.
In the event of severe injuries, this is also the time to notify an employee’s emergency contact. The designated representative should also have access to this information.
Work With Carrier
After submitting the report(s), make sure to maintain contact with your carrier about your employee’s claim. They may require additional documentation or information.
You may need to provide details such as the number of workdays lost, the employee’s current return-to-work status, and information regarding wage replacement.
Work With Injured Employee
To stay informed as well as to keep your carrier informed, it’s important to stay in communication with the injured employee. You’ll want to make sure you and your team member are on the same page with the next steps.
You may also need to make certain accommodations before the employee returns to work. Maintaining contact can help you make these accommodations and make any other arrangements as needed.
Don’t Wait to Get Workers’ Compensation
Now that you understand how to get workers’ compensation and the benefits it offers, there’s no reason to delay getting coverage. It helps protect employees and protect your business.
If you’re ready to find the right WC insurance, contact us today for your quote.