Virtually every state has laws requiring organizations with a certain number of employees or more to carry workers compensation insurance. But there are many misconceptions and falsehoods about workers compensation that continue to be perpetuated. At Kippers Insurance, we strive to simplify the workers compensation process and help organizations and their employees find the right policy for them.
Let’s start with what workers compensation is designed for. At its most basic, workers compensation covers medical expenses for injuries or illnesses that occur as a result of one’s job. Also, workers compensation will cover part, or in some instances all, of lost salary or wages as a result of the injury. But, there are some exceptions to workers compensation laws.
For instance, not everyone who is injured on the job is covered; independent contractors, domestic workers, and agricultural employees are often excluded from the coverage. In general, to be covered, one must be an employee and be injured or made sick while performing the duties of the job; just because one is injured at work does not mean they will be covered under workers compensation.
So what are some basic rules for workers and employers to follow to make sure that both sides effectively navigate workers compensation laws?
These 5 rules of thumb are a good place to start:
- Report every injury or illness. If an employee is injured at work, they need to report it immediately to HR or their direct supervisor. It is vital to document the incident on an incident report form or appropriate document. This enables the workers compensation process to begin immediately and to get the injured party the medical attention they need.
- Tell the doctor or hospital you were injured on the job. When filling out paperwork at the hospital or medical office, tell them that you were injured on the job. This ensures that the medical bills and records of treatment will be sent to the workers compensation insurance company or the injured party’s employer.
- Explain the company’s workers compensation policy. If you are an employee, ask your company to explain its workers compensation policy. If you are in HR, or in management, explaining your policy so that your employees have a better understanding will help simplify the process and avoid misunderstandings down the road.
- You will be tested for drugs and alcohol. Most workers compensation policies require that the injured party be tested for drugs and/or alcohol when they are taken for medical treatment. In most cases, a positive result will exclude the injured party from coverage under workers compensation.
- Most payouts aren’t large. Workers compensation payouts are typically half to two-thirds of the missed salary or wages. Some states even have limits as to how much a worker can receive, no matter what their salary was pre-injury or illness.
At Kipper Insurance, we strive to help organizations and employees find the right workers compensation policy for them. We will simplify the process to make it as easy and straightforward as possible. Contact us today to receive a no-obligation quote or to find out which workers compensation policy is right for you.