Do not skimp on your workers' compensation insurance coverage. Statistics show that over 888,000 workers suffered from work-related injuries and illnesses in 2019. You cannot eliminate the risk of workplace injuries, but sufficient coverage options protect companies from paying out-of-pocket fines and bills. Some insurers even cover the total amount needed.
Instead of minimizing your premiums, look for the best companies offering workers' compensation insurance. Several factors contribute to an all-encompassing policy. Choosing the first insurance company with the lowest offer puts your business at risk of underinsurance, which could prompt several legal and financial complications.
Workers' compensation insurance is a state-mandated policy that financially helps insured workers recover from work-related injuries and accidents. In the event of a casualty, the policy will cover final expenses. Coverage options vary based on several factors, but employers can top-up the policy to cover their employees' lost wages as well.
However, claimants should understand that receiving workers' compensation insurance benefits relinquishes their right to suit their respective employers. If a worker wishes to push through with the lawsuit, they cannot accept the financial support. However, the company or business sued can rely on their business insurance company during and after the court proceedings.
Workers' comp coverage options cover any type of work-related injury, accident, and casualty. However, health program experts share that most claims stem from:
Avoid disregarding the dire consequences of slips and falls. Surveys show that over 800 employees suffered from fatal falls in 2017. Apart from getting sufficient insurance, observe the necessary safety protocols as well. For example, if you run a roofing business, make sure your laborers use nonslip boots and a reliable ladder during their projects.
Factories and construction sites that neglect employee shift rotation and healthy workplace conditions leave their laborers prone to fatigue. If the employer does not carry sufficient insurance, we encourage the worker to file a lawsuit. Most attorneys would agree to work with workers on a contingency basis, especially if they have a good case.
Workplace violence is more common than most people assume. 2018 statistics show that more than 20,000 workers in private sectors were involved in non-fatal cases of workplace violence. Furthermore, 71% of the longitudinal study consisted of women. Reports indicate that most incidents occurred among police officers, security guards, health care aides, and nurses.
Business owners involved in construction, logging, and shipping suffer the highest cases of machinery-related accidents. Accidents can range from minor tractor bumps to more severe accidents like having an H iron beam fall on your worker.
Contrary to popular belief, comp insurance protects both employees and employers. Employees can file claims to treat work-related injuries, while businesses can utilize their workers' compensation fund to avoid out-of-pocket expenses during covered emergencies.
Workers' compensation insurance offers three coverage options:
Medical-only claims constitute a significant portion of all comp insurance claims; this stands as the most common coverage claim. Its coverage pays for the treatment and recovery of the injured employee. However, keep in mind that your insurance company might require a week to process the paperwork before rolling out the benefits. In the meantime, you'll have to shoulder the fees yourself.
Pro Tip: Talk to your insurance company about add-ons that cover potential income loss during the employee's recovery process.
Temporary disability coverage provides disabled employees with financial support until complete recovery. Disability benefits halt once the employee returns to work, but employers should minimize their previously injured employee's workload during the first week or two.
If the employee sustains a permanent injury that prevents them from working for future employers, they can claim lifetime disability benefits. Several factors affect the amount that an injured individual receives, but it should generally cover all potential income losses.
Filing a workers' compensation insurance claim might seem complex, but you can actually condense the process into five steps. In most cases, the difficulties stem from the stress of going against an employer.
Most states require workers to report work-related injuries one to two years from the time of the accident. Failure to do so would nullify the benefits. However, business owners should not wait for official reports before taking action; employers should know if their employees sustain injuries on the job.
Note: New York only leaves employees 30 days to file work-related accidents.
After the employee notifies their employer of the sustained injuries, the latter proceed with the formal paperwork. The process primarily involves briefing the employee of their rights and filling out the claims forms provided by their chosen insurance company.
Every insurance company has a different claims process. However, most institutions would require claimants to obtain an official medical report from accredited facilities.
The insurance company will need a week or two to review the claim. This step primarily exists so that your insurer has sufficient time to assess the claim's legitimacy; insurance fraud hurts both the employer and insurance company.
The employee receives the funds and takes the necessary time to recover from the work-related injury. Once the accredited medical facility deems the employee fit to work, the latter will submit a formal report; then they will officially stop receiving benefits.
Neglecting the different criteria affecting workers' compensation insurance policies is a common mistake among new business owners. Yes, you need a policy that matches your budget. However, solely focusing on workers' compensation premiums will hamper your search for an all-encompassing, practical policy for employee protection.
Businesses should take the following factors into account when applying for a workers compensation insurance policy:
Insurance companies consider several factors when gauging industry risk; these criteria vary on a case-by-case basis. However, you can expect the average insurance company to base decisions on casualty and injury rates.A 2019 CNBC report states that the riskiest workers comp insurance clients include companies from the following industries:
It comes as no surprise that workers' compensation companies consider garbage one of the highest risk professions in the United States. The job exposes one to various bacteria and contaminants.
Slips and falls are very common among roof repair and installation companies. The assigned risk increases for small businesses with minimal safety equipment.
Operating, flying, and maintaining general aviation planes pose multiple risks. Most airlines in the United States require their aviation professionals to undergo rigorous training.
The long working hours and harsh working environment make commercial fishing one of the most dangerous jobs to date. Small business owners in the fishing sector might not even get a workers' compensation policy.
Insurance companies consider logging businesses as high risk because of the dangerous equipment involved, such as logging machines and chainsaws.
When calculating your employees' workers' comp coverage, compare their classification rate with their payroll and tenure, then you should roughly know how much business insurance your company would need. For reference, most workers' comp insurance claims average around $41,000 per claim.
The United States government requires all companies to carry sufficient workers' compensation coverage, but the specific guidelines may vary from state to state.
For example, most states allow businesses to secure their policy from local insurance agents. However, monopolistic states like Wyoming, Washington, Ohio, and North Dakota require every business owner to secure their policy from government-accredited state insurance funds.
Your insurability depends on the industry-specific hazards that apply to your business. Companies with high-risk workplace casualty or injury rates might struggle to get sufficient workers' compensation plans. Most workers' compensation insurance companies reject high-risk clients from dangerous industries.
However, these limitations do not indicate that high-risk businesses never qualify for workers' compensation policy options; they just have to find the right insurance company. Remember: insurance providers offer varying features. A commercial insurance company might limit services to established businesses, while others can insure risky business owners.
The risk of getting quoted a high policy premium is a concern for many employers. While sufficient workers' comp coverage plays a paramount role in a safe workplace, the premiums should not affect your profits. Business owners can expect to pay around $600 per annum for workers' comp insurance.
However, do not downgrade your workers' compensation coverage to get lower premiums. Instead, peruse other insurance and healthcare providers. Multiple institutions provide workers' comp insurance in the United States; don't limit yourself to one insurance company.
Plus, business owners can take advantage of their insurer's payment plans. For example, if paying $600 a year hurts your finances, ask your insurance company to break down the amount into several quarterly or monthly payments.
Dozens of insurance companies offer workers' compensation insurance in the US. They range from reputable commercial institutions with solid financial records to third-party insurers specializing in high-risk accounts.
Choosing between multiple options feels liberating. However, startups and new business owners might find the sheer number of insurers confusing; where would you even start? To help business owners make informed decisions, we break down the pros and cons of the 12 best workers compensation insurance companies on the market:
biBERk Insurance Services ranks as the best workers compensation insurance company on our list. They are a widely known insurance company operating under the management of a reputable parent company, Berkshire Hathaway.
As a direct insurance carrier, they provide lower, more competitive rates. The company boasts that their workers' compensation insurance premiums cost 20% less than what the average insurance company charges.
Plus, they have a streamlined, technologically advanced application process. In fact, you can request a quote, submit your policy application, and qualify for a policy within just a few minutes—and all without talking to an agent.
One downside is that the biBERk insurance company does not offer pay-as-you-go options and insurance bundling discounts. Small business owners might not have the capacity to shoulder the total annual premium.
It is a common misconception that companies only need workers' compensation insurance after hiring more than 10 employees. Most states mandate comp insurance even if you have one employee. Unfortunately, you would be hard-pressed to find an insurance carrier that insures micro-businesses with less than a handful of workers.
Small business owners who need insurance coverage fast can turn to CoverWallet. Unlike your average insurance company, they focus on small business owners and independent entities. They will grant you a policy even if you have one part-timer working under you.
Retail businesses carry several risks, which is why almost every insurance company requires retailers to have several years of tenure. However, employers shouldn't run the risk of operating uninsured. Newly established retailers that need workers' compensation insurance coverage can contact AmTrust Financial.
They are a reputable insurance company insuring all types of retailers, from single-employee convenience stores to larger shops with 70+ employees. 24-hour stores can qualify for insurance but expect several security requirements.
Note: AmTrust Financial does not insure stores that carry cannabis-derived goods and adult entertainment products.
The Hartford undoubtedly ranks as the best insurance company for medical practitioners. In fact, they currently have more than 105,000 outpatient offices nationwide. Coverage terms vary from policy to policy, but employers generally file claims if their health care providers get sick from examining or treating patients.
Note: The Hartford allows insurance bundling, but they do not offer malpractice coverage; you will need a third-party insurance company for the added protection.
Progressive stands as the best insurance company for professional service providers. They offer all-encompassing group health insurance policies with several opportunities for discounts.
Plus, Progressive allows clients to bundle their comp insurance policy with professional coverages, including cyber insurance, professional liability, and business owner's insurance. If your third-party insurance company agrees to bundle as well, you'll get a sizeable discount.
Nationwide sets itself apart from the average insurance company by providing free safety seminars. Comp insurance clients can access several resources on tax calculations, payroll management, heavy machinery safety tips, and construction site safety practices.
To utilize Nationwide's unique features, we encourage bundling their workers' compensation insurance plan with the following insurance policies: contractor equipment, business auto, professional liability.
Hiscox is a long-running insurance company that has focused solely on insuring SMBs for more than a century now. In fact, they solely accommodate entities with fewer than 10 employees. You can also bundle their workers' comp insurance with your professional and general liability policies; although, other insurance options might require further screening.
Suracy, previously known as AmVentures, specializes in church insurance. However, they recently pivoted to workers' compensation insurance for SMBs as well. Despite their short tenure, they have already impressed thousands of clients nationwide with their quality customer service. Suracy even accommodates 24-hour claims filing; thus, speeding up the approval process.
Zurich is a Swiss insurance company widely known as versatile workers' compensation carriers. While your average insurance company focuses on one or two business types, Zurich accommodates clients from a broad range of industries. The company mentioned that its client base primarily consists of manufacturing, health care, and construction business owners.
Chubb boasts an extensive return-to-work system that provides total support to recovering employees. The plan covers everything, from one-time hospital bills to recurring maintenance medication. Plus, policy owners can sign up for their medical and pharmacy programs to minimize the overall medication costs.
If workers' comp insurance protects your employees, what policy covers damages to your business? Assured Standard has multiple resources on business insurance; check out our guide on general liability insurance policies.
Workers' Compensation is a state-administered program that pays for not only your health care, but also any other costs incurred as the result of an injury at work. If you have Medicare and file for workers' compensation, this insurance will cover the primary costs while filing secondary coverage with Medicare.
You are eligible to receive payment for the rest of your life if you have a permanent total disability. If you only have part of your body disabled, like just one foot, then that is considered a "permanent partial" injury and the payout process will occur over an allotted number of weeks or months.
The following are some types of workers who have no coverage through traditional worker's compensation: business owners, volunteers, independent contractors, federal employees, and railroad employees. Some other examples include longshoremen as well.
The average settlement value of a worker's compensation claim involving a torn rotator cuff is between $50,000.00 and $125,0000. This amount does not include the medical or wage loss benefits the insurer may have paid beforehand.
Medicare is what's called a "secondary payer." That means that if any other insurance was supposed to cover a medical bill, then Medicare does not have to. This is unlike workers' compensation, which covers work injuries and is, therefore, the primary payer for medical care of those injuries that occur at work.
Reaching MMI means that the employee is not expected to get better with additional treatment. This puts them at risk of injury due to returning back too soon, and it also affects their limitations accordingly depending on how bad they are injured.
Sometimes employees are denied their rightful compensation because employers do not want to pay the high cost of workers' comp. Insurance premiums skyrocket and companies lose out on valuable assets from injured, but diligent, staff members.
Employers fight legitimate workers' compensation claims for a number of reasons like avoiding expensive insurance rates or protecting company image.
We understand that workers' compensation insurance comes with a steep price tag—which most startups cannot afford. However, these policies are paramount to a safe, secure work environment. Comp coverage will set you back by a few hundred bucks, but the protection they provide plays a crucial role in any business continuity strategy.
Also, work with the best workers' compensation insurance companies to create a policy that matches your needs. Ditch all insurance companies that pitch cookie-cutter plans. Generic workers' comp coverage yields little to no advantages. In the worst case, they might not even provide the financial support you need due to underinsurance stemming from inaccurate estimates.
Assured Standard emphasizes that your insurance should go beyond workplace injuries and disability benefits. Check out our resources business insurance to see how you can stay protected against various risks.