What You Need to Know About Workers Comp Insurance

Workers comp insurance is a mandatory coverage that all employers in the United States must carry. It serves two primary purposes:

  1. It protects you, the employer, from being sued by employees when they are injured on the job.
  2. It protects employees and workers from suffering financial hardships due to having to pay medical and recovery bills when they get hurt on the job.

Workers compensation insurance pays for a variety of bills that arise when an employee is injured or made sick due to their job duties. This coverage applies to all workers and jobs, regardless of where the job is being performed.

If a carpenter is on a remote job site for example, at the house of a customer, he is performing his job duties while working at that location. If he cuts off his thumb while cutting lumber, that is an on-the-job injury that can qualify for workers compensation benefits.

If that same carpenter is working at his company’s main shop location and is subjected to sudden breathing in of sawdust, he may need emergency medical attention to help him breathe. Workers compensation pays for the immediate first aid care, emergency medical treatment, and any additional treatment that might be needed in the future as a result of the accident.

Accidents, injuries and illnesses can emerge in all types of work. Construction workers and roofers are at risk of injuring themselves with heavy equipment or while climbing around on the roof of a house for example. Pet grooming employees can suffer bites, scratches and infections. Cleaning company employees can become ill because of the chemicals being used to clean.

Workers compensation will pay for the emergency care bills that arise due to the accident, injury or illness. It also pays hospital bills if the worker needs to be admitted, and it pays for follow up medical care services such as prescription medications, physical therapy and rehabilitation.

If the employee is injured severely enough to need recovery time off work, workers compensation insurance can pay for temporary disability as well. Generally if an employee is unable to return to work within three days due to doctor’s orders, they can qualify for temporary disability status. This will provide them with partial payments to compensate for wages lost due to their time off work.

When injuries are severe enough, workers comp will pay for permanent disability if applicable. This provides the employee with a percentage of their former wages since they can no longer work at that job. In some cases, education and retraining benefits are available. If an employee dies from an injury or accident on the job, workers comp will pay death benefits to the employee’s surviving dependents.

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