The Ultimate Employers Workers’ Comp Guide: 10 Key Points to Know

May 30, 2019Blog0 comments

Believe it or not, there are about 12,300 work-related injuries each day. That means that every employee, no matter how cautious, runs the risk of getting injured on the job.

As an employer, you want to protect your employees. It’s in your best interest to keep them safe. After all, when they’re healthy, they’re more productive.

But where do you start?

You’ll want to invest in quality employers’ workers’ comp insurance. If you’ve never bought a policy before, it can feel a bit confusing.

Here’s what you need to know about this type of insurance coverage.

1. Workers’ Compensation Coverage is Required By Law

Every employer with more than two employees must have workers’ compensation insurance. However if you have a construction business in Florida, then with just one employee, you are required to have workers compensation insurance. If you don’t have the policy in place after hiring employees, you could be subject to fines and penalties.

Worse, if your team gets injured, you’re liable for the damages out-of-pocket. Even for established companies, this puts your business at risk for tons of financial strain.

But don’t worry! You don’t have to hunt for workers’ compensation insurance on your own. Speak to one of our brokers to find the right policy for your needs.

2. Insurance Needs Will Change

Workers’ comp insurance premiums are set according to your company’s size, industry, and accident risk. As your company grows or adds new departments, your insurance needs will change.

That’s why it’s best to schedule a quarterly insurance review with your provider. Let them reassess your company’s risks and match the coverage to the number of employees you have.

The last thing any business needs is to discover they’re underinsured when an employee files a claim. Remember, you’re covered up to your claim limit. If the cost of medical treatment and damages is higher, you’ll have to pay out of pocket.

3. It Doesn’t Cover All Types of Injuries

Just because your employee gets injured on your property doesn’t inherently mean they’re covered by workers’ compensation. The injuries must be a result of their job or the duties you assign them.

If they fall off a ladder while goofing off or get injured while preparing food on their break, they could be responsible for their own treatment.

Similarly, if the injury occurred during an activity that violated company policy or they hurt themselves willfully, they cannot file a claim.

But any team member, whether a full or part-time employee, can file a claim if they’re injured while performing their job duties.

4. The Benefits Cover More Than Medical Treatments

The most common coverage provided by employer workers comp benefits is covering the cost of medical treatments. But that’s not the only benefit the insurance provides.

If the claim gets approved, the insurance helps cover a portion of your employee’s missing wages during their recovery. This helps your employee focus on their recovery rather than pushing themselves to get back to work too soon.

Remember, every injury hurts your company’s productivity. And if your employees come back to work too soon, they won’t be as productive as you need them to be.

5. Accidents Can Happen Anywhere

No matter how careful and cautious you are, accidents can and will happen. And there’s no part of your property that’s exempt from workers compensation coverage.

If an employee gets injured while helping a customer to their car, they can file a claim. It’s not limited to just being inside the building.

Further, if they get hurt off-site while doing a task you assigned them, they’re covered. For example, if an employee is out of town on business and gets injured in a car accident on the way to meet a client, workers comp covers their medical costs.

6. Encourage Employees to Report Every Injury

As a responsible employer, you want to look out for your team. This means you’ll need to encourage them to report injuries as soon as they happen, even if they’re minor.

Not giving your employees access to workers’ comp puts your business at risk for lawsuits.

When employees report their injuries, you’re better prepared to help them file a claim if needed. This helps keep morale high and ensures you’re meeting your obligations under the law.

7. Workers’ Comp Protects You From Lawsuits

In most cases, workers comp coverage protects you from lawsuits. Without insurance, your employees could sue you for negligence.

But when they file a claim, they waive their right to sue the business. You’re fulfilling your obligations by helping them with their recovery.

That said, the insurance doesn’t guarantee that your company can’t face a lawsuit. If the injury resulted from gross negligence, poor maintenance, or willful safety hazards you could prevent, the injured employee can take you to court.

8. You Can’t Retaliate Against Employees Who File a Claim

Filing a workers compensation claim is your employees’ way of looking out for their wellbeing. It’s not a statement of the quality of your business.

And legally, you can’t retaliate against an employee when they file a claim.

So, what counts as retaliation? It’s any action designed to hurt your employee physically, mentally, and financially.

For example, if you refuse to put them on the schedule or cut their hours in an attempt to get them to move on, you’re liable for a lawsuit. Remember, workers’ compensation insurance exists to help your team. It’s in their best interest to use it.

And it’s in your best interest to keep your employees healthy and happy.

9. You Can’t Get Out of the Coverage Requirement

Every business with employees working for them must have workers comp insurance. If your business relies on freelancers or occasional contractors, you may not need to purchase coverage.

This is great, but some business owners abuse this knowledge. They classify people as freelancers when they’re actually employees to save money. And though it works in the short-term, it’s illegal.

Make sure your employees, freelancers, and independent contractors are properly classified. If they’re not, correct it immediately and purchase workers’ comp coverage as soon as possible.

10. Detailed Records Matter 

The key to successful workers’ compensation claims and defenses is maintaining detailed records. When an employee gets injured on the job, document it.

Make a note of the clinic you send them to for treatment and follow up with them after the appointment. Document everything you can and keep track of their progress as they recover.

If an employee does try to sue you, these records help prove you met your obligations.

Get the Right Employers Workers’ Comp Coverage

Now that you understand how important employers workers’ comp insurance is, you’ll want to evaluate your current coverage needs.

Rather than shopping online for a new policy, reach out and get a free quote today. Our experienced brokers will look at your company’s unique needs to find the best policy for you.