Thousands of employees suffer work-related injuries and illnesses every year, and many of these injuries are serious. When employees have serious injuries and incur substantial costs as a result, they may seek compensation from their employer. Workers compensation insurance policies generally help Massachusetts employers manage potential financial risks associated with employees’ work injuries.
Workers compensation insurance policies are very common insurance policies, but they’re also highly specialized policies. Because these policies are normally focused on protecting against a single specific risk (work-related injuries and illnesses), employers should seek out an insurance agent who specializes in this type of insurance when looking for a policy.
State law requires that the vast majority of <Massachusetts employers carry workers comp insurance for their employees. This coverage requirement usually applies to employees regardless of what their title is, how many hours they work or how long they’ve been working for a business.
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Businesses that don’t have standard employees may not be required by law to carry workers comp insurance. This doesn’t necessarily mean these businesses should forgo the insurance, though. There are a couple of situations where businesses may want workers comp even if they don’t have insurance.
First, business owners may want workers comp for themselves in case they’re injured while working for the business. Some health insurance policies may exclude work-related injuries from their coverages, and having a workers comp policy might help fill in such a gap if one exists.
Second, businesses that regularly use subcontractors might need to provide workers comp coverage for their subcontractors in select situations. This is a somewhat uncommon and very specific to certain situations, which is partly why having the assistance of a specialized and knowledgeable insurance agent is helpful.
Premiums for workers comp policies are based on several different factors, and they frequently vary from one situation to the next as a result. Some of the items that can influence how much a business ends up paying for coverage include:
Even with variation among premiums, however, policies tend to be affordable for companies’ budgets. Carrying a policy is almost certainly more affordable than what the legal consequences of not having coverage if it’s legally required could be, not to mention the potential cost of an injury lawsuit or claim.
A workers compensation audit is a fairly routine practice, and it isn’t something that businesses should fear. Through the process, insurers make sure that the premiums paid are what they ought to be.
When a workers compensation policy is purchased, the premiums quoted are typically only estimates. The estimates are based on the information provided at the time of underwriting, and they’re normally accurate so long as the information provided is accurate. Even the most attentive businesses can have events transpire that make their actual payroll for a policy period different from what was expected.
After the effective period of a policy is over, the underwriting insurance company will often ask to audit the policyholding business’ books. The insurer will then look at the books to see whether the actual information matches the expected information. Adjustments to the policy will be made if there are any discrepancies, and premiums may be increased or decreased. Depending on how premiums are adjusted, the business might get an additional bill or a partial refund.
For help finding a workers compensation insurance policy, contact the independent insurance agents at The Feingold Companies. Our agents have worked with many businesses in Massachusetts, and they have the expertise to help you find a workers compensation policy that meets your business’ specific needs.