Employers are legally obligated to take reasonable care to assure that their workplaces are safe. Nevertheless, accidents happen. When they do, workers’ compensation insurance provides coverage.
Workers compensation insurance serves two purposes: It assures that injured workers get medical care and compensation for a portion of the income they lose while they are unable to return to work and it usually protects employers from lawsuits by workers injured while working.
What Injuries Are Covered?
Injuries employees sustain on the workplace premises or anywhere else while the employee is acting in the “course and scope” of employment are covered if their employer has workers comp insurance. For example, the leading cause of workers comps death claims is traffic accidents that occur when the employee is in a vehicle for work purposes, whether the trip is made in the company’s car or the employee’s vehicle. Accidents driving to and from work are not covered.
In addition to injuries from accidents, workers comp covers injuries employees may sustain from other events that may occur while they are working, including workplace violence, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters.
What Treatment Do Injured Workers Receive?
Injured workers receive all medically necessary and appropriate treatment. With medical costs soaring, many states have adopted measures designed to rein in expenditures. These include utilization management guidelines, which describe acceptable treatment protocols and diagnostic tests for specific injuries.
What Benefits Do Injured Workers Receive?
Income replacement benefits are based on whether the disability is total or partial and whether it is permanent or temporary. Impairment is generally defined as a reduction in earnings capacity, sometimes using the American Medical Association’s criteria.
Who Sells Workers Comp Insurance?
Workers comp insurance is not part of your Businessowners Policy (BOP). It must be purchased as a separate insurance policy.
Each state has its own rules about where employers may buy workers comp insurance. In a few states, all employers must buy their workers comp insurance from a state monopoly insurer, known as a state fund. In many other states, insurance may be purchased from the state fund or private insurers.