insurance for workers

clock February 12, 2021

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The Ins and Outs of Different Types of Compensation Insurance for Workers

You need to keep your employees safe. And you need to keep yourself safe from your employees. In 2019, there were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries. 900,000 of those injuries caused a worker to miss at least one day of work. Businesses lost thousands of dollars in productivity, and some of them were sued for even more money. 

A worker injury is devastating to the employee and employer. Thankfully, there is a way to keep the pain down. 

Buying insurance for workers is essential. Yet many companies wait to buy insurance or don’t buy insurance at all. Get the facts to keep you and your workers safe. 

Here is a quick guide. 

Medical-Only Insurance for Workers

Medical-only coverage is one of the most common insurance plans for employees. This coverage pays for the worker’s medical bills after an accident or illness. 

Medical-only policies cover most injuries. If a worker was being irresponsible, the policies may not cover their bills. 

Policies can cover accidents, repetitive strain injuries, and illnesses. If an employee who works at the computer develops carpal tunnel from excessive use, they can receive compensation. 

Policies can also cover mental illnesses that develop from the job. 7 to 35 percent of healthcare workers show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder from their workplace experiences. To allow them to get the care they need and continue working, policies provide compensation.

There may be a delay in the policy. Many policies require a waiting period of a few days, in order for medical information to be processed. This also allows you to launch an investigation into the nature of the accident. 

Temporary Disability

Temporary disability is more extensive than medical-only coverage. But policies can differ. 

Temporary partial disability pays workers who cannot return to work after an accident. The policy pays for lost wages and new expenses. Yet the policy is partial because the payments end when an employee recovers and takes over their old responsibilities.

But an employee may return to work while still recovering. You may need to make accommodations, reducing their hours and responsibilities. When this happens, temporary total disability policies provide partial compensation. 

They can continue to work while receiving benefits. They can pay for physical therapy, regaining their mobility through time.

Some policies are capped, providing benefits for a short period. Other policies are indefinite. Read the terms of the policy carefully so you understand how much aid an employee can receive. 

Temporary disability pays for work-related injuries. If an employee injures themselves at home and cannot work, they do not receive coverage. 

Permanent Disability

Permanent disability covers an employee who cannot come back to work at all. Permanent injuries include paralysis, brain damage, and blindness. The employee receives cash benefits to pay for their expenses. 

Some permanent disability policies fall under partial total disability. An employee may not return to your company, but they can work for someone else. They will receive a payout from your policy as they continue to work. 

Many permanent disability policies pay out to workers who die as a result of a work-related duty. They provide death benefits and cover funeral costs. 

Make sure you buy a package that includes temporary and permanent disability policies. Read the terms very carefully. Understand when payments are made and keep a lawyer’s contact information in the event of a lawsuit.

Business Insurance

Insurance for your business is distinct from workers compensation insurance. Nonetheless, it is important to buy business insurance so your business receives complete protection.

General liability insurance protects against claims of bodily injury and property damage. You need general liability coverage in order to buy workers compensation. 

Professional liability insurance protects your business from negligence suits. Business owner’s policy combines general liability and property insurance programs. It protects the equipment you use for work. 

Professional liability and business owner’s insurance are optional. But you should buy them. They limit the grounds that workers can sue your company, and they reinforce the payouts found in workers compensation.

State Laws

Once you understand the different kinds of workers compensation, you need to understand state laws. Nearly every state requires companies to purchase workers compensation for their employees. But what each company needs to purchase varies. 

The first significant difference is when a company must buy insurance. Most states, like Alaska, require a purchase when a company hires its first employee. Other states, like Arkansas, mandate purchasing after three employees are hired. 

States vary mandates depending on the job sector. In Delaware, farmworkers do not have to receive coverage. In Missouri, non-construction companies do not have to buy coverage if they have fewer than five employees.

Some states like Minnesota extend protections to minors, but not all states do. Non-American citizens do not receive protections in most states. 

Even if you are not required to purchase workers compensation insurance, you should do so for all employees. You may struggle to hire workers if they find out that you provide no compensation. You may open your business to a lawsuit, especially if upper management caused an accident. 

Workers Compensation Insurance That Works

An accident or illness can occur at any time. You need to prepare for an injury well in advance. Buying insurance for workers is the best way to prepare. 

A medical-only coverage plan provides payouts for medical expenses. Temporary disability pays for lost compensation and medical bills. Permanent disability pays for a worker who cannot return to their old responsibilities. 

Workers compensation is distinct from business insurance, but you should buy both. Understand your state laws, but buy insurance for all employees in any case. 

Get the best policies for yourself and your employees. National Workman’s Comp Solutions has more than 15 years of experience in providing insurance to businesses. Get a free quote today. 

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