Your business likely will have to carry workers compensation coverage. This protection extends to your employees in the event they become injured or sick on the job. Most states require their businesses to offer workers compensation insurance to employees.
Still, many business owners may not recognize how best to insure their operations with workers compensation coverage. One of the best ways to think about your risks and needs is to look within your own business and industry.
What is Workers Compensation Insurance?
Workers compensation insurance is a policy that covers employee losses due to on-the-job injuries. These might include medical bills or lost wages sustained due to a workplace injury or work-caused disability.
Here’s an example of workers compensation insurance in action. Let’s say that one of your employees is operating a forklift that is lifting metal piping. A piece of that piping comes loose and falls on top of another worker, injuring that worker’s back. The employee sustains severe injuries, and won’t be able to work while recovering.
Workers compensation insurance will cover the financial losses that worker sustains. The coverage can help the employee pay for their medical needs following this work-related accident.
How to Get the Right Type of Workers Compensation Insurance
Each business poses unique risks to its employees. This might affect how you structure your workers compensation coverage. Carefully reviewing your business can help you guide your insurer in establishing coverage.
- Look at significant risks in your industry. For example, manufacturing jobs often pose different employee risks than IT positions do. Research industry trends to familiarize yourself with the most common types of workers compensation insurance claims in your line of business.
- Look at the average cost of workers compensation insurance claims in your industry. This can provide you with guidance on how much coverage to get.
- Look to the future. As industries and risks change, the way workers’ comp claims affect a business might change also. See if you can find research on how the industry expects workers’ comps claims to change in the coming years. Coming changes might warrant changing your coverage now.
- Familiarize yourself with your state’s workers compensation laws. You should always carry workers compensation coverage levels in accordance with statuary requirements.
- Review your business’ workers compensation history. Did you file any claims in the last year? If so, what were they? How much did each claim cost? Did certain claims merit increasing your workers compensation coverage limits? If you know what risks are present, you can make sure you always have coverage for them.
Of course, never forget to look around your business and secure any risks that might cause harm to others. Make sure you and your employees take proper safety precautions to ward off the risk of injury.