As you seek optimal insurance protection for your small business, it’s important to have a good working knowledge of how different policies work. In particular, small business owners should understand both the benefits and limitations of workers’ compensation insurance, and the relevant state laws.
At FullHR, we hear a number of common questions about workers’ comp. Here are a few of the most frequently asked, along with some brief answers.
Workers’ Comp FAQ
What is workers’ comp?
Essentially, workers’ compensation insurance protects the business, along with their employees, in the event that an employee becomes sick or injured on the job.
What’s covered in a typical workers’ comp policy?
While the details may vary policy by policy, most workers’ compensation policies will cover medical expenses, lost wages, and ongoing care costs for any employee who is injured on the job or becomes ill as a direct result of their job. Additionally, many workers’ compensation policies will cover funeral expenses for employees who die as the result of a workplace injury. Finally, policies may cover legal expenses for employers who face litigation as a result of a workplace accident or injury.
What’s not covered in a typical workers’ comp policy?
Any time you get an insurance policy, it’s always a good idea to review the terms carefully, assessing what is and isn’t covered. Again, the specifics can vary by policy, but most workers’ comp policies will not cover:
- Injuries that an employee incurs after starting a fight with another employee.
- Injuries that result because the employee was intoxicated in the workplace.
- Injuries that an employee gets intentionally.
What should an employee do after getting injured on the job?
Any employee who is injured in the workplace should immediately report it to their supervisor. The supervisor must then generate a report, including details such as the date and time of the accident or injury. Different states have different criteria for when injuries must be reported, but sooner is always better.
For job-related illnesses, it’s best to report as soon as an official diagnosis is obtained.
If an employee receives workers’ comp benefits, are they eligible for other types of benefits?
Employees who are receiving workers’ comp benefits are not automatically ineligible for things like Social Security, unemployment, and disability benefits. However, it is always best to check with the company’s HR or benefits team to ensure that workers’ comp claims will not adversely affect other forms of compensation.
Are companies required to have workers’ comp?
In most states, businesses with one or more employees are legally mandated to carry a workers’ comp policy. Texas is the one notable exception.
More Questions About Workers’ Comp?
We’re always happy to answer questions that business owners have about their insurance provisions. Reach out to FullHR any time you’d like to talk about the specifics of workers’ compensation.