We All Need Workers Comp Insurance
Do you need Workers Comp Insurance? Well, if you’re a business owner, the sight of an employee slipping on a wet floor, or rubbing their wrist after hours at a computer, is enough to make you break out in a cold sweat. At-work injuries happen all the time, with 2.9 million non-fatal accidents in 2016 according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The best thing we can do is to maximize safety and limit risk. But, even if we’re the safest business on the block, accidents will happen. To deal with that, and to make sure that you don’t suffer from the medical and legal hurdles of being personally responsible for your employee’s injury, you need Workers Compensation Insurance.
How Does It Work?
Workers Comp Insurance is a coverage that is best explained by one of the core concepts of insurance – transferring risk. Rather than having to worry about paying for an injury or a work-related illness to an employee all by yourself, you buy the right to share the risk with everyone else that has a Workers Comp policy. Now, if someone does get injured, your policy will pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and potential treatment and rehabilitation caused by the on the job accident.
With the cost of medical expenses skyrocketing, this coverage is vital to protecting yourself from potentially disastrous financial harm. Not only that, looking after the well-being of those you employ is the ethical thing to do – often a reward unto itself.
How Does it Work for Employees?
If an employee is harmed in a workplace accident, or becomes ill due to a workplace cause, the employee informs the company, which files a claim with their workers comp insurance provider. Often an independent medical exam, or IME, is scheduled, giving an unbiased opinion of the injury and helping both parties determine if the claim should be filed. If a claim is filed and accepted, the employee is compensated for their time off (usually by paying 2/3 of wages), medical expenses are covered based on the extent of the injury, and any needed rehabilitation is scheduled and paid for by the workers comp insurance company.
It is important to note that if the employee does not comply with recommended treatments from the doctor, those above mentioned benefits can be altered or taken away, resulting in the employee being responsible for their own expenses.
Also, faking an injury or illness at work is a serious offense. Businesses who have workers comp insurance in North Carolina should note that the state has an entire division dedicated to discovering and prosecuting workers comp fraud. In many states, workers comp fraud is a felony, complete with fines and jail time. If you are a business owner, rest assured that state authorities look out for you to protect you from abuses of this valuable coverage.
Can I Get By Without It?
In North Carolina, if you have three or more employees, you are required by state law to have workers comp insurance. While some businesses were able to get by and avoid detection in the past, new measures are targeting these enterprises, finding them and fining them. This is a serious offense, and the longer you have been without workers comp coverage, the more you are responsible for paying.
One last thing – remember that officers in a business can be considered employees. In a corporation, all officers are employees of the business, so if three people owned a company together and were the President, Vice-President and Treasurer, they would still be required to have workers comp insurance. Other types of businesses, such as Sole Proprietorships and LLCs, do not have this issue, as owners are not counted as regular employees.
When in doubt, the best thing to do is get workers comp insurance. And call your agent!
What Do I Need To Do?
If you have workers compensation insurance, you probably should look at a new agency if your current agent hasn’t talked to you about it in a few years. If you don’t have workers comp insurance, you should get it – immediately.
Call, email us, or fill out the contact sheet below to get the facts and a new quote, all ASAP. At Alliance Insurance, we pride ourselves on helping businesses big and small get the coverages they need to avoid life’s everyday mishaps. Why not see if we can help you?