Essential coverage for a safe, productive workplace.
Workers’ compensation insurance provided by Strickler Insurance.
Workmans’ Compensation is one of the most important business insurance coverages. That is why it is required by many states that you carry workman’s’ comp. Know that workers’ compensation or workman’s’ comp protects your employees and in return protects your business as a whole. Workmans’ comp lowers your liability in all the situations it covers. You will not have to pay out of pocket for costly things like medical expenses or lost wages when an employee is laid off.
What does Workmans’ Compensation Insurance Cover?
Workmans’ Comp covers more than lost wages. It is insurance for your workers that provides a variety of coverage and protection to your employees. From small injuries to large, death to a lifelong disability, workman’s’ comp is much more than insurance for lost wages. Here are the primary coverages found within workers’ comp:
- Workmans’ Comp Medical Treatment Coverage: When a repetitive injury or sudden workplace injury occurs, workman’s’ compensation steps in and ensures your employees, your business’s most valuable assets, are covered and protected. Workers’ comp medical coverage usually covers medical treatment and cost short term and long term.
- Workmans’ Comp Ongoing Medical Care: Some injuries sustained on the job require long term treatment. Workmans’ compensation doesn’t just cover the medical expenses for the initial injury, but it covers the ongoing medical expenses. For instance, if an employee were to lose a leg in a workplace accident, the surgery, physical rehabilitation, and healing would be covered, but future prosthetic legs would also be covered.
- Workmans’ Comp Lost Wage Coverage: When an employee is recovering from injuries sustained on the job they will receive money for lost wages. Or in some instances work is slow and an employee needs to be laid off. Workers’ comp covers layoffs and ensures you are able to keep valued employees when business is booming.
- Workmans’ Comp Funeral Cost Coverage: In the terrible instance where an employee dies on the job, funeral costs are covered. This is why it is important to have workman’s’ compensation coverage for high-risk jobs.
- Workmans’ Comp Disability Benefits Coverage: If an employee were to sustain an injury resulting in a disability, the workman’s’ compensation coverage would protect your employee with disability coverage.
- Workmans’ Comp Repetitive Injury Coverage: In a lot of businesses especially labor or construction businesses, injuries occur over repetitive wear and tear to your body. A roofer is not only susceptible to high risk falls that need to be covered by workers’ comp, but likely to have back injuries as they get older or tendinitis and arthritis from repetitive hammering or using a screw shooter.
Get a free workers’ comp quote to ensure your employees and business are protected from injury, medical costs, death and loss of work.
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Are you about to hire your next workers' compensation claim? In an effort to get a position filled quickly, you may take shortcuts that could cost you thousands of dollars.
Prospective employees should be required to complete a pre-hire physical. A copy of the intended job description can then be given to the medical provider with the physical requirements of the position. This helps to ensure only those capable of doing the job are hired and keeps other employees safe.
Education and Injury Reporting
Oftentimes employees don’t understand the workers' compensation process and may be afraid to report a claim for fear of losing their job or impacting a daily count of injury-free days that are tied to an incentive program.
Educate employees on the workers' compensation system. During the hiring process, consider explaining how workers' compensation coverage protects your employee when an injury occurs. Your employees should understand that it is their responsibility to report an injury immediately and follow the company’s guidelines for seeking medical attention. Explain your return to work policy and have your employees sign an agreement stating they understand the process.
Your employee may become injured and you might be tempted to rely on someone else to communicate with them. As a result, your employee may be confused by the workers' compensation process and unsure where to turn.
You and your supervisors need to stay in constant communication with your employees. Your insurance broker can provide some coaching and guidance throughout the process. Above all, your employees should feel that you care about their injuries and that you will be involved in helping them recover. Your direct supervisors play a key role in this process and should be trained to effectively communicate with your employees throughout the injury.
Return to Work Program
When your employees become injured, they may need time to recover. As an employer, you may be tempted to rely solely on the workers' compensation insurance company and/or your employee’s medical provider to communicate throughout the process. If you do, the process can become unnecessarily prolonged.
As the employer, let your insurance company and your employee’s medical provider know that you have a return to work program in place. Ask the medical provider to refer to the job description that has been provided for the injured employee. As soon as the employee is medically cleared, offer a light duty position and ask them to report to work. If needed, your employee can continue to receive treatment while they continue to recover.
Payroll Audits and EMR
Statistically, your company’s Experience Modification Rate (EMR) has more than a 70% chance of being incorrect. Your EMR is a number used by insurance companies to gauge any past cost of injuries and future chances of risk. In addition, over 80% of payroll audits are done incorrectly. Both factors impact your workers' compensation coverage.
Trust your insurance advisor and have them assist and advocate during the annual payroll audit conducted by the insurance company. Your agent should also monitor all claims, but especially claims reserved over a $10,000 threshold. Larger claims should have a quarterly report prepared by your insurance agent to let you know the status of the claim. Your agent should work with your insurance company’s claims adjustor to close any claims as quickly as possible.
Medical Provider Communication
Claims can remain open longer than needed due to poor communication between you and your employee’s medical provider. As a result, you may be unaware that your employee is well enough to return to work on a modified basis.
Get to know the doctors that are helping your employee heal. Your insurance broker should foster this relationship by assisting you in the selection of the medical provider prior to a claim. Meet with the medical provider, interview them, tour their facilities, ask them to tour your location, and explain your return to work program. Job descriptions can be provided to the medical provider and an agreement of services can be achieved. Once a claim takes place, a clear line of communication should be established so you are kept aware of your employee’s status.
Sometimes employees are trained to do a job well, but are not trained to do their job safely. Many work-related injuries can be avoided by effective training.
Your insurance broker should be able to organize monthly training classes. Many insurance carriers offer training tools at no charge and your broker can help you utilize these tools to your advantage. For example, topics such as proper lifting techniques can be critical for many job functions. Also, using tools like payroll stuffers can be very effective.
Many employers are concerned about their next OSHA visit. Worried about citations and fines, employers see OSHA as the enemy. Sound familiar?
OSHA's On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential safety and occupational health advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs.
Workmans’ Comp Will Protect Your Business, Employees and Business’s Future
Workmans’ compensation benefits your business in a variety of ways. It protects your business first by ensuring that you will not be fined by state laws requiring workers’ compensation. It also protects your business from costly ongoing medical expenses or ongoing care. Finally, it helps your business by protecting the thing that keeps it running, your employees. By protecting your employees with workers’ comp you will be able to keep more employees as well as keeping your employees happy. All workman’s compensation coverage works together to protect your business’s future.
What Happens When You File For Workmans’ Comp?
When you file a workman’s compensation claim, the insurance company will determine your claim’s approval. If approved, the insurance company will contact the employee with payment details and information. What would result in a workman’s’ comp claim being denied? The injury was sustained outside of work, or you are actually working and receiving income, or a variety of breaches that workmans’ comp is not required to provide payment for.
Workmans’ Compensation Requirements In Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, if you intentionally are not compliant in providing workmans’ compensation to your employees it is a felony of the third degree and can result in a $15,000 fine accompanied with 7 years of jail time. And all you wanted to do was start a business. The most severe penalties for not providing workmans’ compensation are in Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, and California. Strickler Insurance is located in Lebanon Pennsylvania so we know the importance of providing workman’s compensation in Pennsylvania.
Not in Pennsylvania? There are a variety of legal minimums based on the state you are located in. We primarily provide workmans’ compensation in Pennsylvania, but we also provide business insurance in a few neighboring states. Contact us for a free workman’s comp quote in PA, MD, NY, DE, NJ, or VA.
The Risk Of Not Having Workmans’ Compensation
If Pennsylvania workmans’ comp fines are any indication of the risk, there are many others. The primary risk of not having workers’ comp insurance is being liable for your employees’ medical costs, lay-off pay, funeral expenses, or ongoing costs.
Stand Alone Workmans’ Compensation Or Combined Business Owners Policy (BOP)
One of the best things you can do to save money on workmans’ compensation is to group it with other insurance coverage you need for your business. Just like getting home insurance and auto insurance grouped in your personal insurance for a discount, you can get a Business Owners Policy or BOP commercial liability insurance. Most business owners need business owners insurance, business liability insurance or business property insurance coverage. Learn about how you can get more insurance for a lower cost when you contact Strickler Insurance.
Why Does Workmans’ Comp Require Employees To Go To Specific Doctors
As employers we have all heard why can’t I go to my own doctor? Why doesn’t workmans’ comp let me get treated at my doctor? This technically depends on the state you reside in. Some states give you the right to see your own doctor. In Pennsylvania, the employer or insurance company is allowed to choose the doctor you can be examined by. This is allowed because they are paying for the medical services provided. There are certain legal steps you can take to be examined by your own doctor but sometimes that can be costly and in the end, the workmans’ compensation might not cover the medical expenses.
The reason some states do not allow employers to determine a medical office is that there can be cases where a conflict of interest arises. If the doctor or medical office is an employee or has a relationship with your employer, they may indicate your injuries are not as serious, lowering the cost and workmans’ comp payout.
Select The Right Workmans’ Compensation Benefits For Your Business
Contact Strickler Insurance to get a free insurance quote on your workman’s’ compensation insurance. We provide workers’ comp in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. Get all your business insurance needs here and get the best workers’ compensation insurance we can provide.
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