Workers’compensation insurance can protect your business and employees from financial loss. It covers an employee that contracts an illness or gets hurt due to a job-related event. This type of insurance pays medical bills and lost wages and may even cover the cost of occupational rehabilitation. In the unfortunate event that your employee dies, workers' comp often provides a death benefit, which pays for funeral expenses. Some plans pay support to dependents left behind as well.
Types of Injuries Covered by Workers' Comp
Workers compensation pays for injuries to employees at your place of business or at a remote worksite. For example, you own a transportation company and one of your van drivers is hit after dropping off the last passenger. If the employee is injured, workers’ comp pays for his medical bills. Generally, it also covers injuries due to workplace violence, natural disasters or terrorism, or even simple slips and falls. For a covered peril, this insurance also pays for illnesses contracted at work. For example, if the chemicals used to clean the office make employees sick, workers comp kicks in to pay the medical bill if the employee can prove that this incapacitation was caused by their working conditions.
What's Not Covered?
While most accidents and injuries are covered, there are a few exceptions. Workers’ Comp doesn't pay for injuries:
• Intentionally sustained or the result of self-harm.
• Accidents and injuries that occur during the commute to the office or back home.
Common Workers Compensation Insurance Claims
Overall, strains and sprains are the most common causes of workplace injury — accounting for more than 30% of claims. Often, injuries occur when employees overexert themselves while lifting heavy objects. Strains and sprains take an average of 12 days before the injured employee can resume their duties. Work activities that cause these injuries include freight, stock, labor and moving materials. For example, nursing assistants regularly lift patients and suffer from sprains and strains. Workers’ compensation might help them with their recovery.
At 27%, slips and falls are the second biggest category of workers’ comp claims. These accidents happen when employees trip over loose carpeting, extension cords and other objects.
Safety standards and training can prevent employee accidents and illness and save your business money on workers’ compensation insurance premiums. Maintaining a safe work area is also key to keeping your employees safe on the job.