Workers Compensation Information
Workers Compensation & Employer’s Liability Insurance
Whether you have three employees or several thousand employees, it only takes one injury to interrupt your daily processes. As a business owner, you most likely are concerned with protecting your employee from injury as well as meeting workers compensation requirements in your state and ensuring that your business runs as usual. Getting the right workers comp in place for your business can help you meet all of those goals.
If you need to find workers compensation insurance, review your options with one of our knowledgeable insurance agents.
What Is Workers Compensation Insurance?
Developed close to 100 years ago, workers compensation is a form of occupational injury insurance that business owners can buy to protect workers from costly medical expenses from injury or illness while on the job. It also protects your company from employee lawsuits. If an employee is injured while at work, your workers compensation insurance can pay for the employee’s injuries and/or illnesses. Each state has its own laws that determine if coverage is required and how much you should buy. In Iowa, workers compensation insurance is mandatory for employers to have for their employees.
How Much Does Workers Compensation Cost?
Similar to any insurance policy, workers comp rates will vary depending on the unique characteristics of your business. Each state has specific rate structures and classification systems to develop workers compensation insurance quotes.
Other factors used to determine workers comp rates include employee pay and occupational hazard. For every $100 of an employee’s salary, a specific cost is assigned to that individual. If that employee is working a particularly dangerous job, the cost of the policy will typically be higher. Discounts could be available for businesses that initiate a work safety program and have low claim frequency.
What Does Workers Compensation Cover?
There are two parts to a Workers’ Compensation policy. Workers Compensation insurance will cover any employee on the policy for injuries on the job or an illness that develops due to the job. While workers compensation typically pays the costs involved in an employee's injury or illness, coverage may be denied under any of the following exceptions:
• Self-inflicted injuries
• Injuries that occurred while an employee was committing a crime
• Injuries incurred while an employee wasn’t on the job
• Injuries that occurred as a result of an employee’s conduct that violates company policy
If workers compensation claims are valid, benefits will pay for medical expenses and lost wages. Workers comp can also provide coverage for rehabilitation services and retraining programs but that will depend on the employer. If an employee is killed while on the job, workers compensation can provide benefits to dependents of the employee.
The second part of a Workers’ Compensation policy is Employer’s Liability Insurance. This coverage protects employers from negligence claims brought by injured employees and, in some cases, their spouses. In these cases, the employee must show his injury occurred while performing job duties, and that it would not have occurred but for the employer’s negligence.
While workers' compensation claims do not require you to prove negligence, employer liability claims do. A worker must prove his injury would not have occurred if his employer wasn't negligent in some way.
Filing a Workers Compensation Claim
If someone is injured while on the job, file the claim immediately. Waiting to file a claim is not recommended and could lead to denial of benefits.
The first thing an employee will do to file a claim is notification of injury or illness to the employer. This can be done two ways:
1. The employee can notify the employer and at that point, the employer needs to file a report and make a claim.
2. If a doctor determines an injury or illness is work-related, the employee will then fill out workers compensation forms. This notifies the employer and insurance company.
Regardless of the circumstances that led to the illness or injury, the filed claim should be very specific. Include the date and time of the injury or cause of illness, if known, and how the incident happened. If witnesses are available, provide names and contact information. The insurance company will review the claim and provide benefits to the injured employee.
For illnesses and injuries that developed over time, filing a claim can be more difficult. Therefore, providing complete documentation is especially critical.