What Does a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Policy Cover?
As a small business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities.
Paying the mortgage or rent, processing payroll, and tracking inventory are just a few. One of your most important tasks is ensuring employee safety.
One of the best ways to do this is by obtaining a workers' compensation policy. This is the easy part. Knowing exactly what the policy covers can be a little more complicated.
Keep reading for an employer's guide to workers' compensation policies and coverage.
The Benefits of Having a Workers' Compensation Policy
What some employers do not realize is that workers' compensation policies are in place to protect both parties.
Although these policies ensure that employees may receive benefits regardless of who is at fault, that is not all they do. They could also protect business owners from unwanted lawsuits. Sometimes, injured employees try to sue for additional damage. When an employee files for (and collects) workers' compensation, they cannot come after you for more money.
Without a policy in place, injured employees may be able to sue you for things like lost wages, pain and suffering, and exorbitant medical bills. Or, you may be fined by a state because you do not have the required workers' compensation insurance in place.
In some rare cases, employees could collect workers' comp and still try to sue you! This is why having coverage is so important.
What Does Workers' Compensation Cover?
In short, your workers' compensation policy could cover costs related to work injuries. If an employee is injured or falls ill due to work conditions on the job, you may be responsible for covering a wide range of things.
Here are the most common:
When an accident occurs on the job, your workers' compensation policy may cover the cost of immediate medical attention. This includes any ambulance rides or emergency room fees.
Once the employee is evaluated, your policy could also cover the cost of any required surgeries, medications, hospital stays, and other associated medical expenses.
If ongoing care is prescribed (physical therapy or medication use), your policy might also cover these bills.
In the event of a serious injury, employees may not return to work right away. Some may require several days, weeks, or even months to recover.
Your workers' compensation policy could pay part of the employee's lost wages during their recovery time. The percentage of coverage may depend on the type of policy you have and the extent of the employee's injury.
Compensation for Fatal Injuries
In 2018 there were over 5,200 fatal workplace injuries in the United States. Sometimes, tragedy strikes -- and when it does, your workers' compensation policy may cover the associated costs.
Your policy's death benefits could cover funeral and burial expenses and might provide financial support for employee's living family members.
Protect Your Employees and Your Business
Having a workers' compensation policy is about more than just protecting your employees -- it is about being able to protect yourself and your business.
Workers' comp could cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses related to the employees' injury or illness. It may also offer protection in the event the employee files a lawsuit against you.