Workers’ compensation laws were created to ensure that employees who are injured on the job are provided with fixed monetary awards. This eliminates the need for litigation and creates an easier process for the employee. It also helps control the financial risks for employers since many states limit the amount an injured employee can recover from an employer.
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to help companies pay these benefits. As a protection for employees, most states require that employers carry some form of workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance is not health insurance. Workers’ compensation is designed specifically for injuries sustained on the job.
In most states, if you have employees, you are required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. Even in non-mandatory states, it can be a very good idea, particularly if you have many employees, or if they are engaged in hazardous activities.
Do I need workers’ compensation insurance?
Employers have a legal responsibility to their employees to make the workplace safe. However, accidents happen even when every reasonable safety measure has been taken.
To protect employers from lawsuits resulting from workplace accidents and to provide medical care and compensation for lost income to employees hurt in workplace accidents, in almost every state, businesses are required to buy workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance covers workers injured on the job, whether they’re hurt on the workplace premises or elsewhere, or in auto accidents while on business. It also covers work-related illnesses.
Workers’ compensation provides payments to injured workers, without regard to who was at fault in the accident, for time lost from work and for medical and rehabilitation services. It also provides death benefits to surviving spouses and dependents.
Each state has different laws governing the amount and duration of lost income benefits, the provision of medical and rehabilitation services and how the system is administered. For example, in most states there are regulations that cover whether the worker or employer can choose the doctor who treats the injuries and how disputes about benefits are resolved.
Workers’ compensation insurance must be bought as a separate policy. Although in-home business and business owner’s policies (BOPs) are sold as package policies, they don’t include coverage for workers’ injuries.