With 510 workplace injuries occurring every hour, your company cannot afford to go without workers' compensation insurance. This type of policy protects your employees from having to pay impossible medical expenses. It also prevents them from losing wages and protects your company from potential lawsuits and fees. But shopping for a workers' comp policy that's a perfect fit has been proven to be a difficult and confusing task for many business owners. That's why we've put this guide together for you!
Keep reading for some excellent tips that will guide you through this important shopping process.
Tips for Selecting a Workers' Comp Policy
Every business that has employees should have a workers' compensation policy set in place. This type of insurance policy will protect you as a business owner from becoming financially responsible should an employee become hurt or sick because of their job.
But this is how workman's comp will also benefit your employees:
- Replaced income for employees
- Coverage for burial expenses should a workplace injury result in death
- Coverage for medical expenses
While shopping for workers' comp, you are bound to have a slew of questions. After all, this is an extremely important decision to make on behalf of your business and its workers.
Here are some tips to help get you through the process:
Make Sure the Policy is Relative to Your Specific Industry
Each industry you can work in comes with its own set of safety risks. So, when you are shopping for a workers' compensation policy for your employees to utilize, make sure the policy directly relates to the types of jobs they will be performing.
For instance, since working in a standard office setting doesn't come with a high-risk factor, you will be safe using a more generic policy.
However, if your industry is more labor intensive like construction or manufacturing, you are going to need a plan that offers much more coverage since the working conditions are less safe.
The Price Should be Relative to Your Industry Too
If your business operates in a typical, safe office environment, you shouldn't have expensive workers' comp insurance. Instead, you should be paying a lower amount because you only need coverage for basic or common injuries.
On the same token, if you are in a high-risk industry like we talked about before, you will have a more expensive policy because you're going to need protection for more things.
To make sure you are paying for exactly what you need and nothing you don't, make sure you and your insurance agent go over your policy with a fine-tooth comb. Make sure that anything that isn't going to be used is omitted. Also, giving your agent a thorough overview of what your employees do on a daily basis will help them help you make selections.
But don't leave all of the work to your insurance agent. Ask your colleagues and other business owners in your industry about the specifics of their policies and compare it to your own.
Purchase a Policy That Protects You from Lawsuits
The main goal of a workers' comp policy is to protect your business' workers. It should also protect the business owner from lawsuits should anyone sustain an injury on the job.
So, before you sign or agree to a policy, have your lawyer look over the details. Doing so will give you a chance to find any instances that may leave your business vulnerable in the event of a claim.
Another thing your lawyer can help identify in your policy is if you will be responsible for penalty fees if a claim is made. As a general rule of thumb, your premiums shouldn't increase, and you should have to pay a penalty after a claim.
With that said, it is completely normal for an insurance company to investigate if there is a sudden increase in the number of claims coming from your employees.
You Should Receive One-on-One Assistance
With a workman's comp policy, you should have an agent who is dedicated to answering your questions and giving you one-on-one assistance.
And instead of having to call an 800 number and jump through hoops from an automated answering service, you should have a direct phone number or extension to reach your agent when you need to. A good insurance company understands the importance of creating a relationship with its customers as well as having accessible communication.
While you are still shopping around, ask about these practices to make sure you will have someone who cares and can quickly resolve problems for you.
Understand the Laws in Your State
Workers' comp laws vary from state to state, so you will have to complete some research to find out exactly what your responsibilities are as a business owner in the state you operate from. Also, if you have employees who work in multiple states you will need to do additional research on the specific laws of the places where they're working.
Implement Safety Plans
If you have safety plans and procedures set in place to decrease the possibility of injuries occurring in your place of work, you may be able to save money. Some states offer discounts on the monthly premium or credits for businesses that take safety precautions, so ask your agent about those details.
Some businesses have received discounts for providing employees with safety gear, creating a mandatory safety training, and updating signage.
How Can We Help You?
An effective workers' comp policy will leave you feeling relieved as a business owner knowing that you are protected from lawsuits and expensive fines that can possibly damage your business and its reputation. Communication is also the key to a great working relationship with your insurance agent, so you need a representative who can understand your needs and help you meet them.
Whether your old policy is no longer serving you, or you are a new business owner shopping around for the first time, we're happy to help! Contact us today to see what we can do for you.