Every startup company needs to prepare for the worst. Even if you are an experienced entrepreneur, a lot of things can go wrong the first year of a company. One of the most important considerations is of course the safety of your employees, so it is important that your company has workers compensation insurance. This will help put you and your employees’ minds at ease in case there is ever a workplace emergency.
For those who are unfamiliar, workers compensation insurance is put in place to make sure that an employee will be covered should they get injured on the job. Many startup companies assume that workers compensation insurance is only really necessary for dangerous industries such as construction. However, this is not the case. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, “nearly 3.1 million people in the US suffered a non-fatal workplace injury or illness last year. This equates to about 3.5 cases per 100 full-time workers.” Common workers compensation claims include trips and slips, vehicle accidents, and electrical hazards—things that can happen in just about any workplace.
Workers Compensation Coverage Basics
This insurance typically covers a variety of areas:
- Medical Treatment – This includes hospital stays, travel expenses, physical therapy, etc. for all injuries including loss of limbs, breaks, and diseases.
- Rehabilitation – This is often needed so workers can come back to work. If a worker cannot return to their original profession because of the injury, then they will be placed in a different field and will not have to find another job.
- Lost Wages – Up to two-thirds of the employee’s salary will be paid with this insurance.
- Liability Insurance – If an injured employee files a lawsuit against your company, this insurance will help protect it.
This insurance will help both you and your employees in the long run. In fact, depending on the size and location of your company, you may be required to get workers compensation insurance. If you’re ready to get started with workers compensation insurance, there are a few things to keep in mind, as outlined below.
Tips and Tricks to Getting Started with Workers Compensation Insurance
As discussed above, most states require companies to purchase this insurance through an insurance carrier. Therefore, not all companies are equal. You will want to shop around and make sure that you get the best price for this insurance. There are several online quote estimators that will help you determine how much your coverage should cost. Consider checking out FreeCompQuotes.com for more information.
Rates and requirements vary from state to state. In most states, companies with less than five people do not have to obtain this insurance, but larger companies are required to obtain the insurance privately. This is typically done by purchasing an insurance policy from an insurance company. Some states, however, require employers to get coverage by buying into a state-operated fund. To see the policies in place in your state, visit WorkersCompensation.com.
Assigned Risk Plan
There are subtle differences between a workers compensation policy and an assigned risk policy. Because they look so similar, many companies find themselves in an assigned risk plan which has much higher prices. To avoid this, talk to the insurance agent and make sure you are getting the best price.
Although rare, people do fake injuries or prolong injuries simply to collect workers compensation benefits. This was a major problem in a few states in the recent past, so be sure to remind your employees that this is not tolerated at your company. Employees may try to test you since your company is a startup, so always keep your eyes open.
Hopefully your company will not need to use this insurance, but having it is sure to give you peace of mind and keep your company in legal compliance. To get you started, you can find purchasing resources for workers compensation insurance and an explanation of important workers compensation insurance terms at Business.com.
As you research your insurance options, one important point to remember is prevention. Many workplace injuries are preventable. Keep your office neat and organized, talk with your employees about safety, and be sure to keep your eyes open for exposed electrical circuits, uneven floors, and required heavy lifting so you can stop an injury before it happens.