Before the introduction of the workers’ compensation, there was always a conflict between the employee and the employer every time an employee got injured in the line of work. An injury or illness meant that the worker would either be incapacitated to work for some time, accrue high medical bills in a bid to seek treatment, or, in some extreme cases, succumb to the injury or illness. Either way, the worker or his family would be thrown into indefinite poverty.
In an ideal situation, the worker could sue their employer for compensation against the injuries. However, not all employees could afford the legal fee. In the isolated cases where the employer was sued, they were exposed to high financial penalties that threatened the business’s financial stability as a whole. That’s why workers’ compensation was introduced.
So, what’s a worker’s compensation, and why do you need it for your business?
Worker’s compensation is a form of insurance that compensates employees who become sick or injured at work. Specifically, workers’ comp pay enables employees to receive cash in case of injuries, disability, or death resulting from an accident at work. It also empowers them to get medical care to treat the injuries, settlement of lost wages for the period they’re incapacitated to work, and settle legal cases in case of any.
All these forms of compensation aren’t dependent on who’s responsible for the injury, as long as it happens when executing work duties. Moreover, this insurance also serves the employer by covering them against any legal cases that may arise from the injury.
Why Do Businesses Need A Worker’s Compensation Insurance?
Other than the benefits described above, here’s why every business owner needs workers compensation insurance:
- It’s A Requirement By The State
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, businesses with employees operating in all states apart from Texas are mandated to take a worker’s compensation payment. However, the specific requirements will vary depending on the state. For example, some states may exclude the provision of coverage for casual workers and seasonal employees.
To find out your states’ specific compensation requirements, contact your state’s officials provided on the U.S Government official website. Since this insurance coverage is a law, should you default it, you risk having your business closed down. Or a lawsuit may be filed against you by the state.
- It Helps In Budgeting
Running a successful business involves budgeting for operation, supply, marketing, and legal costs. It’s common for entrepreneurs to overlook the legal cost, especially if they’re yet to encounter a need for it. That’s until one of the employees gets injured at work, and the business owner can’t afford to pay for his medical and other bills from his pocket. The employee, on the other hand, out of frustration, wants to file a lawsuit against the business owner.
To avoid these scenarios, always prioritize taking an insurance cover, whether you’re a startup or an existing business. There are several insurance policies you should consider taking. For today, the focus is on workers’ compensation insurance.
How To Get Workers’ Comp Pay
Workers’ compensation insurance can either be purchased via a private insurance provider or through the state, depending on your state’s specific requirements. If your state allows private insurers to offer these services, it’s recommended you work with a top-rated insurance company. Preferably, the company should have experience in worker’s compensation issues such as the best premiums for the coverage and how to handle claims.
Note that the cost of compensation premiums will vary across different businesses. Here are some of the factors that determine the cost of coverage for a worker’s compensation insurance:
Since different states have different requirements for workers’ compensation payment, the cost of coverage will be determined by the location of your business.
- Type Of Work
Depending on the type of work executed in your business, your enterprise is categorized into class codes. These class codes indicate the level of risk involved in running your business. For example, a secretarial job has a lower risk compared to a plant operator. The higher the risk, the higher the premiums.
It’s crucial for business owners to identify the class code their business falls under. Should you classify your business in a higher class, you may end up paying higher premiums. On the other hand, placing your business under a lower class may be considered a fraud, and you risk fines or imprisonment. Therefore, to avoid such cases, always consult with an expert.
- Size Of The Payroll
Insurance companies also consider the size of your total payroll. In this case, the size of your payroll factors in employees’ wages, salaries, overtime, and bonuses. It, however, doesn’t include tips, saving plans, discounts, or gratuities. It’s recommended you give an accurate payroll for your business to avoid changes in the coverage cost after an audit.
A worker’s compensation payment doesn’t only benefit employees, but it’s equally valuable to business owners. This article introduced you to the basics of worker’s compensation. However, note that it may not cover all worker’s compensation guidelines, mainly depending on your state, so be sure to consult with a professional if you have specific questions and concerns.