Workers Comp Insurance

What is workers comp insurance?

As an employer you are legally obligated to take reasonable care to assure that your workplace is safe. Nevertheless, accidents can and probably will happen and when they do, workers compensation insurance provides coverage.

Workers compensation insurance servers two purposes: It assures that injured workers get medical car and compensation for a portion of the income they lose while they are unable to return to work and it usually protects employers from lawsuits by workers injured while working. Workers receive benefits regardless of who was at fault in the accident. If a worker is killed while working, workers comp provides death benefits for the worker's dependents.

What does workers comp insurance cover?

The workers' comp insurance covers your liability under state statues for workers' comp. It also covers your liability for medical treatment for injuries and indemnity payments for employees disabled by accidents sustained on the job (as stated in the state guidelines for Workers Compensation). Liability coverage for legal actions brought against you for bodily injuries to your employees that fall outside state Workers Compensation laws.

In general, injuries that employees sustain on the workplace premises or anywhere else while the employee is acting in the "course and scope" of employment are covered if their employer has workers comp insurance. The leading cause of workers comp death claims, for instance, stem from traffic accidents that occur when the employee is in a vehicle for work purposes. This is indiscriminate from whether the employee was in the company's car or the employee's own vehicle. Since either case is related to a business related trip they are both valid claims. Accidents that occur from simply driving to and from work are not covered.

In addition to injuries from accidents, workers comp also covers injuries employees may sustain from other events that may occur while they are working, including workplace violence, terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Sometimes certain illnesses are also covered that are contracted as a result of employment (ex. exposure to chemical related illnesses).

What treatment do injured workers receive?

Injured workers will receive any treatment that is medically necessary and appropriate for treatment.

What benefits do injured workers receive?

Depending on the nature of the impairment a worker may receive income replacement benefits and whether it is permanent or temporary. Impairment is generally defined as a reduction to earnings capacity, sometimes using the American Medical Association's criteria.

Most states require that benefits be paid for the duration of the disability, but some specify a maximum of weeks, particularly for temporary disabilities. The benefit amount is a percentage of the worker's weekly wage (actual or state average).