Workers’ Compensation Insurance: 10 Frequently Asked Questions
March 22, 2022
Workers’ Compensation insurance is coverage purchased by the business that provides benefits for job-related employee injuries. Under a workers’ compensation policy, employees are compensated for occupationally incurred injuries, regardless of fault. This coverage makes employers immune from some injury lawsuits by employees. There are many state specific laws on what is required, so contact your insurance agent to discuss what is needed for your business.
Here are some common Workers’ Compensation Insurance Questions:
1. What benefits are available under Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation benefits are available to employees who are unable to work because of a work-related injury or illness. The injured employee will be indemnified for lost wages as a result of the work-related injury if he or she is medically authorized off from work. Typically, lost time benefits are a percentage of the injured employee’s pre-injury wage. Additionally, all medical expenses related to the treatment, rehabilitation is also typically covered.
2. What is a waiting period?
It is the period from the date of the injury to when the Workers’ Compensation benefits start accruing. The waiting period may be paid retroactively. However, this is determined by your state’s designated retroactive period.
3. What is the disability date for occupational disease?
The date of injury is set by the first time an employee loses time due to the injury or disability. This time may be paid or unpaid.
4. What is the likelihood of an occurrence?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are on average 2.8 workplace injury cases per 100 full-time equivalent full-time employees annually. (Consider higher risk work environments driving this up).
5. What is a high claims industry?
Manufacturing accounted for 15 percent of private industry nonfatal injuries and illnesses in 2019.
6. What are some of the most common injuries?
The Department of Labor Statistics states that in 2019 form the 888,220 injuries, one-third were sprains, strains, and tears.
7. What is an IME?
An independent medical exam (IME) is a medical exam of the injured worker by a medical professional other than the treating doctor who conducted the original examination of the injured worker. An insurance company or employer is entitled to an IME to challenge the treating physician’s diagnosis, the recommended treatment plan or whether the injury is work related.
8. What happens if parties have a dispute that cannot be resolved?
Workers, employers and insurance carriers may file an application for hearings to resolve disputes. Employees file most hearing applications. The application notifies the state of the dispute and initiates the legal process. Legal disputes can be settled by stipulation, arbitration and proceeding with a formal hearing.
9. How do the numbers break down?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it costs employers an average of $957 a year per worker to provide legally required workers’ compensation. This is about 1.2 percent of the total average employee compensation costs incurred by employers, which includes all wages and benefits. The average cost is $915 per employees for private companies.
10. What are common claims?
Overall, the 5 common Safety Hazards in workplaces include:
*each industry has their own
Hazard 1: Slips, trips, and falls
Hazard 2: Ergonomic injuries
Hazard 3: Stress
Hazard 4: Eye strain
Hazard 5: Fire safety
Businesses have been working harder to maintain a safe workplace by improving their risk management plans. This has decreased the chances of their employees getting a workplace injury. It has also reduced the amount of workers’ compensation claims resulting from workplace accidents. Focusing on fixing safety issues in your work environment can help you save money in the long run, because it’ll lower your Workers’ Compensation premium. Robertson Ryan has a Risk Services Department dedicated to helping with your unique industry and business. We can work directly with our clients on their specific needs.
For more information on Workers’ Compensation insurance, please contact one of our Trusted Advisors.