Why Workers’ Compensation Insurance Is Important
Workers’ Compensation Insurance is important because it helps provide benefits to employees who become injured or ill for work related reasons. It can also provide payments to an employee’s beneficiaries if the employee dies because of a work-related accident or illness. This coverage is mutually beneficial for both employees and employers.
Without Workers’ Compensation Insurance, employees might have to pay medical bills out-of-pocket for work-related injuries or illnesses. They may also take an additional financial blow if they are unable to work because of these injuries or illnesses. Without Workers’ Comp, an employee who suffers from work-related health issues might make a claim against their employer to help pay for these damages and losses. The employee and employer could end up expending a lot of time, energy and money working to settle the claims.
Because Workers’ Compensation Insurance helps cover these costs to the employee, it may help reduce the likelihood of an employee making a claim against their employer for a work related illness injury. Even if the employee is at fault for an unintentional covered accident, Workers’ Comp can still provide them with benefits. Typically, employees who intentionally injure themselves are not covered by Workers’ Comp, however.
Most states require businesses with employees to buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance. However, each state has different policy requirements. The requirements for your Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage is determined by the state or states you do business in.
What Does The Hartford’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
The Hartford’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance helps cover medical expenses, lost wages, ongoing care costs, and funeral expenses if an employee is injured, becomes ill, or dies as the result of a work related accident or illness. These benefits may not be available to employees who are involved in accidents outside of work hours or operations, intoxicated during the accident or intentionally involved in the accident.
Description: Workmans’ Comp Insurance from The Hartford can provide coverage for medical expenses related to a workplace injury or illness. This can include emergency room visits, necessary surgeries and prescriptions.
Example: An employee cuts his hand while performing maintenance on work equipment. He needs to be rushed to the hospital via ambulance and get stitches in the emergency room. Workers’ Compensation Insurance can help cover the costs of the ambulance ride, hospital visit and medical care.
Description: Workers’ Comp Insurance coverage can provide wages to employees who miss work because of a work-related injury or illness.
Example: An employee becomes ill after being exposed to volatile chemicals while working. As a result, she is unable to work for several weeks. Workers’ Compensation Insurance can help provide part of her salary to her while she is unable to work. This way, she does not take a financial hit while she recovers.
Description: The Hartford’s Workers’ Comp Insurance can help provide benefits for ongoing care needed for a workplace injury or illness.
Example: An employee hurts her back while lifting boxes of files during office reorganization. She is able to return to work but needs several months of physical therapy for the injury. Workers’ Comp Insurance can help cover the costs of the ongoing physical therapy.
Description: In the unfortunate event that an employee dies because of a work-related accident, The Hartford’s Workers’ Comp Insurance can help cover the funeral costs. This can be a tremendous relief to the deceased workers’ loved ones in their time of grief.
Example: An employee dies in an accident at work. Workers’ Comp Insurance can help provide benefits to cover the costs of the employee’s funeral. Generally, Workmans’ Comp covers accidents and injuries, occupational illnesses, repetitive stress injuries and work-related disabilities. This coverage is typically not applicable to incidents that happen while an employee is driving to or from work, if the employee is intoxicated while working, or if the employee causes their injury intentionally.
Accident or Injury
Description: Workers’ Compensation Insurance can help cover medical costs and lost wages if an employee is injured while on the job.
Example: An employee slips while walking down a flight of stairs at work and injures his back. He is unable to work for a week and needs to go to a physical therapist for several months.
Description: Working conditions may expose employees to harmful chemicals or allergens that can lead to illness. If an employee becomes ill due to a work-related incident or condition, Workers’ Comp Insurance can help provide benefits to the employee.
Example: An employee is accidentally exposed to harsh chemicals while working in a factory. These chemicals cause respiratory illness and the employee is unable to work for several weeks while she recovers.
Description: Not all work-related injuries happen in one isolated incident. Repetitive injuries can take months or years to develop. Workers’ Comp Insurance can help provide benefits to employees while they receive treatment and recover.
Example: A clerk at an accounting house develops carpal tunnel pain as a result of repetitive computer data entry work. This happens over the course of several years.
Description: Some work injuries are so severe that employees may never be able to return to work. In some cases, they may be able to return to work but not to the same capacity they worked prior to their injury. Workers’ Comp can provide benefits to pay for medical bills and lost wages for disabled employees.
Example: An employee loses the use of his leg because of a work-related accident. He is unable to return to work and needs continued medical and financial support.
Who Is Covered by Workers’ Comp?
Employee status and number of employees help determine who needs to be covered by Workers’ Comp. Employee status requirements vary from state to state. Most states require full-time employees to be covered by Workers’ Compensation. Some states have specific rules for contractors, temps, and interns.
Some states do not require the following types of employees to be covered by Workers’ Comp Insurance:
- Insurance agents
- Family members under a certain age who are related to the business owner
- Casual workers
- Business owners and partners
- Real estate agents
Federal government employees are also not covered by state regulated Workers’ Compensation Insurance. They are covered by federal Workmans’ Compensation Insurance.
There are also regulations on whether or not businesses need to provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance based on the number of employees they have. For example, the state of Alabama does not require businesses with four or fewer employees to buy Workers’ Comp Insurance.
Some of the states where businesses can be exempt from buying Workers’ Comp based on number of employees are:
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
How Does the Workers’ Compensation Claim Process Work?
The Workers’ Comp claim’s process may vary depending on the state in which the claim is being made. For the most part, it is a fairly straightforward and simple process. Because a workplace injury or illness can have a major impact on the employee, their beneficiaries and family, and the organization they work for, it’s important to start the claim’s process as soon as possible after a work related illness or injury occurs.
- The most important first step is to make sure that the injured or ill employee receives the care they need right away.
- The employee or their representative should notify the employer about the workplace injury or illness as soon as possible.
- The employer contacts their Workers’ Comp provider and submits a claim. Depending on the state the business is in, the manager may also need to notify a state run Workers’ Comp board member.
- The insurer reviews the claim and approves or denies the benefits.
- The employee receives benefits and necessary compensation.
It’s important that the illness or injury is reported and a claim is filed as quickly as possible. Most states have a time limit for when a Workers’ Comp injury can be reported to their manager. This time limit is usually between 30 and 90 days. Also, there is a time limit to when an employer can report a Workers’ Comp injury to their insurance company. These limits are usually determined by the state government and it’s important that employers understand them. That’s why it’s important for employers to discuss policy terms and conditions with an insurance agent or state regulator.
Select the Right Workers’ Comp Insurance Coverage for Your Business
For over 200 years The Hartford has been helping businesses protect themselves from unexpected perils. We understand that no two businesses are alike. Whether you’re a large corporation or a small business with a few employees, we’ll help you find the coverages that are right for your business and budget.
When you choose The Hartford insurance for your Workers’ Comp Coverage, you can rest assured knowing that you are protecting your business and employees with industry-leading care. Our claims’ specialists are responsive and consistently receive top scores for customer satisfaction. We also offer convenient billing solutions for business owners, to take the hassle out of paying for insurance so you can focus on running your business. Get a quote today and learn how The Hartford can help you protect your business and employees.