As a business owner, you have a responsibility to ensure that your employees are safe and protected while they’re on the job. One way to do this is by providing worker’s compensation insurance, which provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses.
But estimates are that a quarter of businesses don’t provide worker’s comp for their employees. And while it’s ultimately your choice as to what does and doesn’t make the most sense for your business, it’s probably worth knowing what you might be risking by not having worker’s compensation.
Not providing worker’s compensation can have significant legal, financial, and reputational consequences for your business. In this post, we’ll explore these potential consequences in more detail.
One of the most serious consequences of not providing worker’s compensation is legal penalties. Depending on the jurisdiction, you may be subject to fines, penalties, or even criminal charges for not providing this type of insurance to your employees.
For example, in California, employers who fail to provide worker’s compensation can be fined up to $10,000 per employee, and may also face misdemeanor or felony charges. In addition to legal penalties, if an injured employee or their family decides to take legal action against your business, you could be liable for costly settlements or court judgments.
A licensed insurance agent or worker’s compensation attorney can help you find out what state-specific penalties could be in play for your business.
Lost Productivity & Higher Costs
Injuries or illnesses that occur in the workplace can result in lost productivity. Employees may need time off to recover, and this can impact the quality and timeliness of work, as well as the overall morale of your workforce.
You also risk a high turnover rate and the inability to retain employees due to a lack of benefits. This obviously can also negatively impact your business’s productivity when you lose employees.
An additional factor is the cost associated with training new employees to replace those who have been injured or who have left due to dissatisfaction with working conditions.
Increased Insurance Costs
If you don’t provide worker’s compensation insurance, you may be subject to higher business insurance premiums. In some cases, you may be unable to obtain coverage at all.
Some insurance providers may require businesses to implement safety measures and training programs before they will provide coverage, which can also result in additional costs.
Damage to Reputation
Not providing worker’s compensation can damage your business’s reputation. Potential employees and customers may view your business as untrustworthy or negligent.
This can impact your ability to attract and retain customers, as well as your ability to recruit and retain skilled employees. Especially in today’s day and age, negative publicity or social media posts about workplace injuries or illnesses can quickly spread, damaging your business’s reputation even further.
In some cases, not providing worker’s compensation can result in legal liability for injuries or illnesses that occur in the workplace. For example, if an employee is injured on the job and you are found to have been negligent in providing a safe working environment or in providing necessary training or equipment, you may be held liable for the employee’s medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
This can result in costly lawsuits and settlements, which can have a significant impact on your business’s finances and reputation. Additionally, employees who are injured on the job may be more likely to seek legal action against your business if they feel that they have been unfairly treated or that their rights have been violated (see section above).
Providing worker’s compensation insurance to your employees is not only required by law in many jurisdictions, but it also protects your employees and your business in the event of workplace injuries or illnesses. Failing to provide worker’s compensation can result in legal penalties, lost productivity, increased insurance costs, damage to reputation, and legal liability.
As a business owner, it’s essential to prioritize the safety and well-being of your employees and to comply with all relevant regulations and laws. By providing worker’s compensation, you can help ensure that your employees are protected, and that your business is well-positioned to grow well into the future.
If you feel unclear on what type of coverage you need and how to get it, just give us a call. We’ll get you and your business covered.