Understanding Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Regardless of how much care is taken by employers and employees, accidents can happen at work or when doing work-related activities away from the jobsite. Workers’ Compensation insurance provides benefits to workers for injuries or illness caused by, or as a result of, their jobs. It also pays for medical care, lost wages, and offers lump-sum or monthly payments related to temporary or permanent disabilities. Job displacement benefits, a return-to-work supplement, and death benefits may be available as well.

Most Workers’ Compensation policies include liability coverage for the business. That protects employers from lawsuits if an employee accepts Workers’ Compensation benefits.

A lot of states (including California and Nevada) require employers to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance, even if they have only one employee. Sole proprietors and business owners without employees are often excluded. However, it’s important to remember that employing subcontractors, and independent contractors does not exempt a business from the Workers’ Comp requirement unless the subcontractor is deemed to be an “independent enterprise.” Nevada has even published a “Workers Compensation Myth” flyer on the topic.

Equally important is the fact that an employer’s general liability insurance does not apply to workers’ injuries on the job; separate Workers’ Comp insurance is needed.

Buying Workers’ Comp Coverage

The California Department of Insurance offers several tools on its website to help employers shopping for Workers’ Compensation insurance. The information available may also be useful to businesses that receive an experience rating or encounter challenges in the Workers’ Comp underwriting process. In the Golden State, businesses can choose coverage from an insurance company or through the State Compensation Insurance Fund (State Fund).

Information on Nevada Workers’ Compensation coverage is available on the State of Nevada Department of Business & Industry Industrial Relations (DIR) web page. Coverage requirements are outlined in a Workers’ Compensation pdf. Employers have the option to purchase coverage through a private insurance carrier or, if qualified, through a self-insured option or association.

Workers’ Comp Claims

For employees, suffering a work-related injury or illness can be upsetting – or even devastating. Fortunately, Workers’ Comp coverage ensures employees are taken care of when dealing with a work-related absence.

Here’s what actions to take:

Report the injury or illness: It’s important employees report any work-related illness or injury to their supervisor as soon as possible. Failure to do so could mean a forfeiture of Workers’ Comp benefits.

Get necessary treatment: If the employee requires medical care, he/she/they should go to an emergency room, urgent care center, or other facility.

File a claim: Filing a claim form protects an employee’s rights and starts the Workers’ Comp process. The claim is submitted to the insurer or administrator for processing and review. Each claim must be accepted or rejected within 90 days of when it is first given to the employer.

The claim may include any of the following benefits:
• Medical care
• Temporary disability (TD) benefits
• Permanent disability (PD) benefits
• Supplemental job displacement benefits (SJDB)
• Death benefits

Be prepared. Your clients may need to hire temporary workers to replace those who are out on medical or disability leave. If employees are able to return to work, prompt notice should be given to the insurer. Retraining of employees may be needed depending on the employee’s recovery. A temporary modified work assignment or schedule change may be needed in some situations. Employers need to have workplace policies and procedures in place for a range of possibilities.

Alternative Coverage Source

As we noted earlier, ordinarily if your clients are looking to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance for their businesses, they engage the services of a Workers’ Compensation insurer, association, or a casualty broker. In many states, brokers who are licensed to sell casualty insurance may also sell property insurance. They are often licensed as P+C (property and casualty) agents or brokers.

If you’re not licensed as a P+C broker in your state, you may still be able to assist your customers who are interested in securing Workers’ Comp coverage for their businesses. That’s because Word & Brown has a contract with CompNet that will allow you to earn a referral on Workers’ Comp sales. No P+C license is required.

CompNet offers a roster of products underwritten by preferred insurance affiliates, including Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies and others. Savings of up to 20% is available on select target markets. Discounts apply regardless of health insurance carrier. There are no loss runs or experience mods needed for target markets. Plus, your referred business is 100% protected; clients will not be solicited for anything other than P+C.

CompNet strives to make Workers’ Compensation easy, fast, accessible, and affordable for businesses by providing product benefits unmatched by other Workers’ Compensation offers. Plus, you and your clients can feel secure in knowing that coverage is backed by a rating of “A+ Superior” by A.M Best insurance ratings.

A Partner You Can Count On

Partnering with the right general agent can help you better serve the needs of your prospects and clients. Word & Brown has been working with brokers since 1985. We’re known for our insurance sales and back-office support – as well as Service of Unequalled Excellence.

Talk with your Word & Brown representative about everything we have to offer – including access to valuable partners like CompNet.

If you’re not already doing business with Word & Brown, it’s easy to get started. Fill out our
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