The unexpected can happen, even at work. An employee could get hit by a car while driving to a client meeting. Or an employee could be carrying a box of company property, trip in the parking lot, and break an ankle.
Sure, it may seem like a smart idea to protect your business against injuries and accidents. But is workers compensation insurance something that your business really needs?
Yes, workers compensation is a liability insurance that your business needs. Not only does it protect your business, but it protects the workers that make your business run successfully.
Workers Compensation and State Law
Is your employee just a seasonal or part-time worker? Honestly, it doesn’t matter. According to California Labor Code Section 3700, a business must have workers compensation insurance on almost every single employee and any type of employee.
If you have one employee or more in the state of California, you are required to have a workers compensation policy. Owning that policy makes you compliant with the law.
The State of California: Department of Industrial Relations explains that, “The workers compensation system is based on a trade-off between employers and employees. Employees are entitled to receive prompt, effective medical treatment for on-the-job injuries or illnesses no matter who is at fault and, in return, are prevented from suing employers over those injuries.”
Now, there are exceptions. You don’t necessarily need to carry a policy if you are a sole-proprietorship, single member LLC, or a partnership without employees. But, if you’re a roofer, that’s another story. In fact, as a roofer, you must carry a policy whether you have employees or not.
What if your business employs workers in the state, but your business is outside of California? Do you need to enter into a contract of employment in California? You still may be required to obtain coverage.
What Are the Benefits With Workers Compensation Insurance?
Workers compensation pays out whether the injury, occupational disease, or death on the job is the employee’s fault or your business’ fault. Legal and illegal employees are both entitled to benefits. Workers compensation insurance provides basic benefits to employees, including:
- medical care (e.g., surgeries, medicine, hospital stays)
- temporary disability
- permanent disability
- supplemental job displacement
- a return-to-work supplement
- death benefits
- job loss (if the employee can’t return to their position)
All insurance premiums are paid by you, the employer.
What If I Don’t Carry Insurance?
If you’re thinking of sliding by without purchasing a required policy, you’re taking a risk. Some agencies investigate, and not carrying this kind of insurance is a minor criminal offense. You could be fined and even face jail-time.
Furthermore, an injured or sick employee could file civil action against you, on top of a workers compensation claim. Yikes.
Accidents, occupational disease, and injuries could occur on the job. Workers compensation insurance protects both your business and your employees (no matter which of you may be at fault). Do you want to discuss workers compensation insurance? Contact us to talk specifics.