What is Workers Compensation Insurance?
There are thousands of employees who suffer from work-related injuries and illnesses each year. Many of these injuries and illnesses are serious, requiring medical attention and forcing employees to miss work. Workers compensation insurance can help Massachusetts employers pay covered medical bills and lost wages that employees seek financial compensation for.
By covering certain expenses that arise from work-related injuries and illnesses, workers comp helps both employers and employees. Employers are protected from some potentially expensive lawsuits, and employees can trust they’ll receive fair compensation for covered on-the-job injuries and illnesses.
Who Does Workers Comp Cover?
Workers comp generally covers employees. These are traditionally workers who receive a regular paycheck and are sent a W-2 come tax time. Employees are normally covered regardless of how long they’ve been with a company, how many hours they work or what their title is.
While this is broadly true, the specifics of who is covered by a particular workers compensation policy become much more nuanced. Employees’ coverage is hardly ever in question. In some cases, other people are also covered by a policy. Business owners who receive regular paychecks and select independent contractors may also fall under the protections of a policy.
Because workers comp coverage is highly nuanced, businesses should review their policy’s particular coverages with a knowledgeable insurance agent. An agent who specializes in workers compensation will be able to explain who a specific policy covers.
What Businesses in Massachusetts Need Workers Compensation Coverage?
Most businesses in Massachusetts that have employees need workers compensation coverage. Carrying a policy is a legal requirement that applies to almost all businesses that employ workers.
Businesses that are unsure whether their workers qualify as employees should talk with an experienced insurance agent, and possibly a legal professional. Together, an agent and lawyer can help determine who (if anyone) must be covered by a policy.
How is Workers Compensation Coverage Purchased?
Workers compensation coverage is typically bought through stand-alone policies, as commercial package insurance policies usually don’t include workers comp protections. An independent insurance agent can help businesses compare the workers compensation policies that are available.
Is Workers Compensation Coverage Expensive?
Workers compensation premiums vary a lot, for they’re based on many factors. A few of the items that can influence a business’ worker compensation rates include:
- What industry the business operates in
- How many employees the business has
- How much the business pays employees
- Whether the business has past workers comp claims
Regardless of how much a business’ premiums are, having coverage is certainly less expensive than facing an expensive lawsuit without any protection in place. Carrying a policy that meets the state’s requirements also ensures that a business won’t be fined for not giving employees coverage
What Happens to Businesses That Don’t Have Workers Compensation Coverage?
Businesses that are required to carry workers compensation coverage but don’t may face a variety of penalties. As mentioned, the state may assess fines. A business might also receive notices from the state and face other legal consequences. In the event of a work-related injury or illness, an expensive lawsuit might ensue.
How Can Massachusetts Businesses Get Workers Compensation Insurance?
Workers compensation insurance is one of the few insurances that businesses don’t only need for risk mitigation. Many businesses also have to carry it for legal reasons. Thus, businesses should make sure whatever policy they select both offers strong insurance protections and satisfies the state’s requirements.
For help finding a policy that will offer sufficient protection, businesses in Massachusetts should contact Flavin & Flavin insurance – we are familiar with the nuances of workers compensation insurance. Our knowledgeable agents will know how to review policies’ fine print, and can compare policies offered by different insurance companies.