When taking care of your business needs, you’ll probably sign up for worker’s compensation insurance. This useful policy was designed specifically to protect both employees and employers following any accident or injury that might occur in the workplace. It’s not just designed for high-risk industries like engineering or construction—any small business can benefit from such a policy.
Worker’s compensation can seem like an unnecessary expense, especially when you are already paying high premiums for business insurance. However, it’s vital to the success of your business. Accidents can occur at any moment under any circumstance, and if you don’t have proper coverage, you could face a lawsuit.
Small business owners should be well aware of the facts surrounding this vital institution. Here are some things you should know:
- The most dangerous occupations might surprise you.
If you believe you’re operating in a low-risk industry, think again. You might assume that most accidents happen in heavy labor jobs like construction or manufacturing, but that’s not the case. According to Employers.com , Nursing aides, orderlies and attendants, janitors, truck drivers, and general laborers account for 20 percent of all worker’s compensation cases.
This information only underscores the importance of taking out a worker’s compensation policy for your office, even if you think injuries aren’t likely to happen on your premises.
- You’ll probably have an injury claim filed against you in the next 10 years.
Small businesses are not exempt from personal injury lawsuits. According to research from Hartfords, there’s a 50 percent chance that your small business will be served with an injury claim sometime in the next decade. That’s true even for companies that have just a handful of employees.
Any injuries that happen in the workplace are your responsibility. Worker’s compensation insurance should cover employee medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses related to their recovery. If you don’t cover those costs, you could be served with a lawsuit, making matters much worse.
- Employees might try to pull worker’s compensation fraud.
Worker’s compensation is wonderful for helping the injured cover some of their expenses. However, it can and probably will be abused. Worker’s compensation fraud costs employees tens of billions of dollars a year in fake claims.
Fraud can manifest itself in many ways, but the most common is for an employee to claim they were hurt at work when they were hurt during personal time. Injured employees might also make the injury appear worse than it is to collect more money or take more paid time off work. Watch out for fake injuries as well.
It’s not always easy to spot fraud, but a screening process can mitigate some of your risk. Ask employees plenty of questions, look for witnesses, and try to find evidence to support your claim. Your insurance company will probably require this information anyway, so your detective skills will save a lot of hassle.
- Worker’s compensation requirements vary by state.
When researching information about worker’s compensation, you’ll probably do internet research. Just remember to include your state in that search to fully understand the laws and regulations pertaining to your particular region.
Most states require employers to cover full-time or part-time employees. In fact, Texas is the only state where worker’s compensation coverage is optional, even though you can still be held liable for injuries on your premises. If you’re aware of these rules, you should be able to avoid fines in the future.
- An affordable monthly premium can save you millions.
There are plenty of regulations and rules that surround worker’s compensation, but perhaps the most important fact is that it’s worth it. Even small businesses can be sued for millions of dollars if they don’t cover the medical needs of employees who were injured.
Shop around for different coverage options that meet your needs and your budget. When you find a good solution, sign up immediately. Accidents can strike at any time, and you want to be fully prepared when they do.
Article Submitted By Community Writer