7 Things You Need to Know About Worker’s Comp

Worker’s comp is a handy benefit that can help both employees and employers shoulder the financial costs associated with workplace injuries and illnesses. 

If you’ve ever wondered about worker’s comp insurance, read on to learn seven key things you should know about a worker’s comp policy including what it covers, who pays for it, and how you can get a worker’s comp policy today.

What is Worker’s Comp?

Worker’s comp, otherwise known as worker’s compensation or workman’s comp, is a kind of insurance that helps protect both businesses and employees from financial loss. Specifically, it protects them when an employee gets sick or is injured due to a work-related incident. 

Worker’s comp provides both benefits and/or medical care for covered employees in the form of medical expense coverage, lost wage recoupment, and rehabilitation costs among others. For employers, worker’s comp serves as a buffer between the company and potentially crippling lawsuits that may arise after an employee is injured on the job.

What Exactly Does Worker’s Comp Cover?

Traditionally, worker’s comp covers costs relating to four main categories: medical expenses, lost wages, ongoing care costs, and funeral expenses.

Medical Expenses

Whether an employee is injured or becomes sick as a result of job-related incidents, worker’s comp can step in to cover the majority of related medical expenses. These can include a wide range of items including prescriptions, surgeries, emergency room visits, and more.

Lost Wages

When an employee is unable to perform their regular job duties as a result of a work-related incident, worker’s comp can step in to ensure the individual and their family are still receiving at least a percentage of the employee’s salary during their recovery period.

Ongoing Care Costs

In some extreme cases, a work-related injury or illness may be so great that the employee needs multiple treatments or continuing rehabilitation to recover their full strength. Worker’s comp, then, can step in to help offset costs relating to therapy and other treatment types.

Funeral Expenses

If an accident or illness is so severe that it costs an employee their life, worker’s comp coverage will step in to help with the cost of the funeral and provide death benefits to the remaining dependents, beneficiaries, and family members of the employee.

What Isn’t Covered Under a Worker’s Comp Policy?

While the majority of work-related accidents are protected under a worker’s comp insurance policy, there are still some incidents that will not be covered under this policy type, even if they occur in the workplace. Note that these exclusions will differ between states, but there are a few incidents that most worker’s comp policies do not provide coverage for. These can include: 

  • Injuries that relate to a fight started by an employee
  • Injuries that result from an employee being under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the workplace
  • Injuries an employee intentionally receives
  • Emotional injuries that are not paired with physical injuries

Who Pays for Worker’s Comp Benefits?

Employers usually purchase worker’s comp plans for their employees. Sometimes, this is done to attract more top-tier job candidates to a position, but more often these benefits are purchased because state laws and regulations require employers to carry this insurance type.

Each state that requires employers to carry worker’s comp policies may have additional stipulations that dictate how much coverage an employer must have for this policy type, and there are many factors that can contribute to the final coverage amount including the size of the business and how many employees it has, what kind of work the employees do, and any possible job-related risks.

How Should an Employee File a Worker’s Comp Claim?

If an employee gets sick or becomes injured as a result of a workplace incident, they need to report it immediately. This report must include the date, time, and circumstances of the injury as per their state’s individual requirements. Typically, the report will need to include the following information:

  • Company-specific information including the employee’s account number, the specific company location if multiple branches exist, and the policy number.
  • The employee’s information including their name, date of birth, address, contact information, social security number, and gender.
  • Incident-related details including the date of injury or illness, what the injury consisted of, what body part was harmed, what caused the injury, how long the employees expect to be out of work, when they expect to return, and any information about potential witnesses.

Once an employer has all of this information on hand, they need to quickly call up their insurance provider and file an official claim. The speed at which an employer files can be especially important if they live in a state where a reporting time limit is imposed. These limits may exempt the insurer from having to pay a claim if it’s not reported in a timely manner.

Can Employees Receive Other Related Insurance Benefits if They Have Worker’s Comp?

Worker’s comp claims cover incidents that may also be covered by disability insurance, social security payouts, and unemployment, so you may wonder whether an employee can collect on more than one of these benefits at a time. Well, in many cases, an employee may collect on two or more of these benefit types, but it will entirely depend on their policy’s specifications.

How Do Companies Get Worker’s Comp Insurance?

It’s very easy for employers to purchase worker’s comp insurance. All you need to do is note how many employees you have, how many of them need coverage, what kind of work they’ll be doing, and how big your payroll is. 

Then, with this information, you can contact your preferred insurance provider–either a private insurance company or a state-funded provider–and set up a plan that will work best for you and your employees.

If you want to learn more about worker’s comp policies or get an estimate about how much a plan may cost you, contact our stellar team at Keller Insurance today!