No matter how robust a company’s safety best practices, workplace accidents happen. Whether it is bodily harm from a fall or an illness due to a toxic chemical leakage, employee on-the-job injuries are costly to all involved. Workers compensation protects both employees and employers in these situations. Here’s what you need to know about this critical insurance.
Workers compensation covers medical costs, other critical expenses, and loss of income in the event an employee is injured on the job.
The insurance was developed for the protection of:
Workers comp benefits can vary widely from state to state but in general they include:
Employers obtain workers comp policies from their insurers, who can help to minimize exposure and optimize premium expenditures. Premium costs an vary widely as they are based on a number of factors:
Workers comp is “no fault” – that is, even if the accident is from carelessness, the employee is entitled to benefits. There are exceptions— for example, many states don’t require workers compensation be paid if the injury took place while the employee was violating a company policy.
Secondary injuries that happen as a direct result of the initial workplace incident are also covered. However, workers comp doesn’t generally cover accidents that happen while an employee is commuting, stress-related ailments, or injuries that are self-inflicted.
The workers comp claims process typically proceeds in these steps:
In the U.S., nearly every state requires employers to carry workers comp insurance. It’s important to keep in mind that laws can vary widely as each state has its own workers compensation agency that oversees insurance rates, reimbursement requirements, exceptions that may expose a company to lawsuits and/or negate its obligations to an employee as well as other, often complex, regulations. Wondering about the laws in your state? Here is a list of the state workers compensation agencies.
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